Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program

The Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program will provide direct repayment of educational loans of eligible educators or the reimbursement of eligible educational expenses such as additional degrees, advanced degrees, career technical certifications, or other educational expenses of eligible educators.

The 2023 Cohort 2 application window is closed. The Board Office will verify eligibility between October – December and selected awardees will be notified by the end of December, 2023.

What is the Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program?
Yellow map of Idaho, circled with black marker

The Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program is for educators teaching in a rural and/or underserved school district or public charter school. The program will provide for the direct repayment of educational loans or the reimbursement of eligible educational expenses such as additional degrees, advanced degrees, career technical certifications, or other educational expenses. Other educational expenses may be defined as course fees, lab fees, required course equipment, course related expenses such as books and/or supplies, and/or transcription fees. A rural and underserved educator is eligible for loan repayment assistance or eligible educational expenses for up to four years, provide that the educator remains employed at the same school or by the same district.

The total incentive award is as follows:
  1. One thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for the first year;
  2. Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for the second year;
  3. Three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) for the third year;
  4. Four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500) for the fourth year.
Eligibility Requirements

1. Full-time (1.0 FTE) as an Instructional and/or Pupil Service Staff Member (Part-time Employees are Ineligible)

2. Standard Certified (5-year renewable standard certificate) (Interim Certificates, Emergency Provisionals, and Alternative Authorizations are Ineligible)

3. Employed as an instructional and/or pupil service staff (Administrators and Classified Staff are Ineligible) 

4. Employed in an eligible Idaho school district, chartered, or an eligible charter school

5. Has signed a contract with an eligible Idaho school district, chartered, or an eligible charter school

6. Working in a school that qualifies under the critical quality educator shortage criteria pursuant to Idaho Code § 33-6503:

  • Rural Isolation of the school pursuant to Idaho Code § 33-319 (If the district is rural per Idaho Code § 33-319, then the school would qualify as rural and would get at least one point – additional points are based on the NCES Reference Sheet) and/or
  • Economic disadvantage of the school based on eligibility for funds pursuant to Title I, part A of the federal elementary and secondary education act, as amended 
  • Please review the NCES Reference Sheet to determine the rurality and Title I status of your school.

7. Has a federal educational loan in the applicant’s name only through the federal student loan program that is not in default and that has a minimum unpaid current balance of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) at the time of the application OR at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) in current eligible education expenses starting July 1st, 2022 that may be reimbursed as pursuant to Idaho Code 33-65 at the time of application.

What is the application process?
  • For loan repayment applications, the application must include official verification or proof of the applicant’s total unpaid accumulated educational loan debt and any other documentation for verification of the applicant’s eligibility.
  • For applications seeking reimbursement of current eligible expenses, the application must include a spreadsheet that includes the item name, date of purchase, amount of purchase, and the total of all purchases along with proof of payment in the applicant’s name such as receipts or invoices.
  • The applications will be reviewed and scored using a rubric. The Office of the State Board will use the results to determine the applicants selected for the Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program.
  • The applicants selected for the Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program will be notified via email.
Applications will be scored using the Rural and Underserved Educator Incentive Program Rubric.