Section 1. Amend Chapter 34. Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Subchapter Ill to read as follows:

"Subchapter III. Delaware Teacher Incentive Program

§3416. Purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of the General Assembly through this subchapter to enable and encourage academically talented Delawareans to pursue teaching careers at the elementary and secondary level ht the State of Delaware.

§3417. Administration.

(a) This subchapter shall be administered by the Delaware Postsecondary Education Commission, hereinafter referred to as the 'Commission.'

(b) The Commission shall adopt such rules and regulations as it deems necessary and proper to the administration of this subchapter.

(c) The Commission shall annually report to the General Assembly of the State the number of recipients, the institutions attended by the recipients, and the total amount of expenditures made under this subchapter.

§3418. Christa McCauliffe Scholarship/Loans.

(a) The Commission is hereby authorized to award educational scholarship loans subject to the limits of its appropriations for this purpose.

(b) For the purposes of this section a scholarship/loan, referred to hereinafter as 'award.' is a loan, the repayment of which is forgiven when the borrower is employed in the Delaware public school system for a period of time In accordance with the conditions specified In §3420.

(c) Awards shall be provided for undergraduate education at Delaware institutions of higher education which provide programs leading to teacher certification.

(d) No student shall be eligible for such award who is not a resident of the State for at least one year prior to the approval of the award. The place of residence of a student who is either under 18 years of age or dependent on parental financial support shall be the legal residence of his parent or guardian who must have qualified as a registered voter In Delaware and who is subject to payment of Delaware income tax. A student over 18 years of age, who is not dependent on parental financial support must meet the federal government's financial self- supporting student definition, and must have qualified as a registered voter In Delaware and must be subject to the payment of Delaware Income tax, to satisfy the requirement of this section.

(c) Awards shall be made to graduating high school seniors who are enrolled as fuU time students In baccalaureate programs and to students who are in their first or second year of a baccalaureate program.

(1) The number of awards and the distribution of awards among the year- classes will be determined annually by the Commission.

(2) The Commission shall determine the placement of student applicants within year- classes for purposes of these awards based on the students' rates of academic progress.

(0 Awards shall be made In priority order within the year classes established by the Commission based solely on academic merit. Academic merit shall be evaluated using criteria adopted by the Commission.

tuition, books, fees, and other direct educational expenses.

(h) Awards shall be renewable within the limits of appropriations for the program, to a maximum of four awards provided the student meets the academic progress standards which shall be set by the Commission and communicated in writing to the recipient at the time the initial award is granted.

§3419. Disbursement.

Funds awarded from this program shall be disbursed on an annual basis and shall be disbursed to the institution which the student attends; not directly to the student.

§3420. Repayment and forgiveness.

Repayment or forgiveness will commence 9 months after the student is awarded the baccalaureate degree or immediately after the student discontinues enrollment prior to degree completion.

(a) If after 9 months following graduation the recipient is employed as a teacher in a public school in the State of Delaware, no payback of award principal or interest will be required. For each year the recipient is so employed the payback of one year's award will be forgiven.

(b) If during the period of repayment the recipient terminates employment with the public schools of Delaware, the recipient will be required to commence repayment of the awards or portions thereof which have not been forgiven at the time of the employment termination.

(c) If after 9 months following graduation the recipient is not employed as a teacher in a Delaware public school, the recipient shall be obligated to make monthly payments to the Commission until the full amount of the award and interest on the award from the date of origination is paid in full.

(d) If during the period of repayment the recipient becomes employed by a Delaware public school, payments will be deferred and one year's award will be forgiven for each year the recipient Is so employed. Under no circumstances will payments already made by the recipient be reimbursed as a result of subsequent employment.

(e) The Commission shall determine the amounts of payment, the length of the repayment period, and the rate and type of interest to accrue on awards.

(f) The Commission shall communicate the terms of repayment and interest accrual to the recipient and secure a promissory note from the recipient attesting to the recipient's agreement to such terms as shall be established.

(g) For purposes of this subchapter, interest charges shall be set at a level which is 1% higher than the interest level existing in the State's Guaranteed Student Loan program at the time the award is made."

Approved July 3, 1986.