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The U.S Department of Education oversees the TCLI program and has specific regulations for a school to be listed in the TCLI Directory. The school must be a public or a nonprofit private elementary or secondary school and meet the following criteria:
- The school or educational service agency must be in a LEA that qualifies for funds under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).
- The number of children enrolled in the school who are counted under Section 1124 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) must exceed 30 percent of the total enrollment of that school.
To search for your school on the TCLI website, begin by clicking 'Start' in the Directory Search option. You will be directed to the search page where you must enter your state and school year. Both fields are mandatory to initiate a search. You have the option of entering your school or Educational Service Agency Name, but this information is not required. If you choose to leave these fields blank, you will produce a list of all TCLI eligible schools for the chosen state.
If you enter your school name, you must use the official name as used by PDE. This information can be located by using the Education Names and Addresses, commonly known as EdNA, database and using the Search Educational Entities feature.
You may also enter a partial name as a wildcard search to access any school that includes the entered text in the chosen state. The less you enter for the search, the more results you will return.
The low-income calculation for public schools uses the individual student data as entered into the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS). Low-income students are reported in the Poverty Code (field 88) of the October 1 PIMS Student Snapshot template.
Private and Non-Public Schools report their low-income enrollment annually in the fall through the Private and Non-Public Enrollment (PNPE) system.
The following federal definition is used to identify economically disadvantaged students:
"In determining the number of children in low-income families, poverty data sources such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cases, census poor, Medicaid, children living in institutions for the neglected, the delinquent, or those supported in foster homes may be utilized. To the extent that such data is not available, the most recent reliable data available at the time of determination, such as free and reduced price lunch eligibility, may be used.
The Low-Income Reports can be located on the PDE website in the Data and Reporting tab. Click on the blue box titled Enrollment and the link for Loan Cancellation/Low-Income.
The Low-Income Reports are separated into two categories: Private and Non-Public Schools Percent of Low-Income Reports and Public Schools Percent of Low-Income Reports. The reports listed under each category are separated by academic year. Select the report to view, which will open in Microsoft Excel format. Each report contains four tabs. The first tab will give instructions on using the report. Tabs two through four contain the low-income information for each LEA and school as well as a tab which shows only schools listed with greater than 30%.
The data included in these reports are calculated by the official information reported to PDE during the annual student collections by the respective schools.
Based on the data officially reported to the PA Department of Education, the school did not meet the low-income requirements.
- For public institutions, data is collected in the PIMS October 1 Student snapshot. For private institutions, data is collected in the Private and Nonpublic Enrollment (PNPE) each fall. For a school to be placed on the Low-Income School list, more than 30% of the student population must meet the Low-Income Definition.
If you are employed by the school district, you may be considered an employee of each school sending students to the program, but each school must be listed in the low-income directory.
School is an official term; programs, or miscellaneous institutions are not considered schools. You would not be eligible because the loan forgiveness program is for schools, not programs. If you are employed by a contractor, you would not be eligible for the program.
You may verify your school type by using the Education Names and Addresses, commonly known as EdNA, database and using the Search Educational Entities feature.
To qualify for the program, you must be employed as a full-time, highly qualified teacher of a public or other nonprofit elementary or secondary school for five consecutive years, they must be listed as a valid school with PDE and listed on the TCLI website as a designated low-income school. Additionally, the loans for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made prior to the end of your five academic years of qualifying teaching service.
If your school meets the low-income requirements for at least one year, your subsequent years of teaching at the school may be counted toward the required five consecutive years. However, if at any time you have a break in the five consecutive years, possibly by moving to a new school that is not low-income designated, your previous time is voided, and you must start over.
Additional qualification information is available on the federal Student Aid website.
For a school to be considered eligible as a low-income school, the school district, charter school or private school must report to the Pennsylvania Department of Education that it has students attending the school who come from low-income families and the total percentage that it reports to PDE must equal 30.1 percent or higher before a school can be included on the federal TCLI list for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
Schools qualify individually within a district so while one school in a district may be on the federal TCLI list with a qualifying percentage of low-income student enrollment, another school in the same district may not qualify.
TCLI is for schools only, programs are not eligible to be considered for the federal TCLI teacher loan forgiveness program.
Yes, IUs are considered are a regional education agency for this loan forgiveness program. IU enrollments are used to calculate the percent of low-income enrollment. Enrollment at schools served has no impact on the IUs eligibility.
Private schools can qualify; however, in addition to the above requirements they must be non-profit. They are considered "located in a district" if they are physically located within the boundaries of the school district.