17:427.4      Intent;  purpose;  teachers' homebuyer program;  authorization;


A. (1) It is the intent of the legislature to make teacher quality a priority.  Therefore, it is necessary to create an incentive and initiative program to entice teachers to earn certification and qualification, including certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  Research indicates that one of the greatest factors impacting student achievement is the quality of the classroom teacher.  It has been shown that there is an emerging teacher shortage in Louisiana and especially in the Acadiana, East Coast, Florida, and North Central parishes and the Louisiana delta region which are experiencing a more extensive shortage, thus threatening the education of children in these areas.  The state's poor and rural areas face enormous and unique problems in attracting certified and highly qualified educators to their schools.  Finally, it is the intention of the legislature to provide incentives for qualified classroom teachers to locate and teach in disadvantaged and underserved geographical areas of the state by encouraging and increasing the availability of such teachers for the benefit of children in elementary and secondary schools.


(2) As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:


(a) "Disadvantaged geographical area" means an area designated by the Advisory Panel on the Louisiana Teachers' Homebuyers Program, including, but not limited to the Acadiana, East Coast, Florida, and North Central parishes and the Louisiana delta region of the state.


(b) "Eligible teacher" means an individual who:


(i) Holds a valid Louisiana teaching certificate issued by the state Department of Education.


(ii) Meets all requirements for certification and employment as a teacher in public schools required by law and the rules and regulations of the state board.


(iii) Is employed by a city, parish, or other local public school board as a classroom teacher in a public school located in a disadvantaged geographical area that has been designated as a low-performing school as defined by the state board.


(c) "Program" means the Louisiana Teachers' Homebuyers Program established pursuant to this Section.


(d) "State board" means the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.


B. The Louisiana Teachers' Homebuyer Program is hereby established as a special home loan and loan closing assistance program for any eligible teacher.  The treasurer shall identify disadvantaged geographical areas in the state.  The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education through the state Department of Education shall identify low-performing schools as defined by the state board which are located in disadvantaged geographical areas.


C. The state treasurer is hereby authorized to administer the program in conjunction with the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).  The treasurer may contract or enter into any agreement with one or more public or private entities to provide assistance in implementing and administering the program.  The treasurer shall adopt any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation and administration of the program pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.


D to G. Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 743, § 4(B), eff. July 1, 2010.


Added by Acts 2004, No. 738, § 1.  Amended by Acts 2005, No. 340, § 1, eff. June 30, 2005;  Acts 2010, No. 743, § 4(A), eff. July 1, 2010.