A few years ago, a group of local school teachers went to the Department of Education to apply to receive a loan from the Rural Development Loans Program (RDLP).
This program, funded by the federal government, was meant to help schools that faced financial hardship.
After months of interviews, the teachers were approved and the loan was paid off.
The money was paid out in December of 2017.
The program was designed to help with school maintenance and repairs, as well as paying for other necessities such as utilities.
Now, a new crop of rural school teachers is looking to apply.
As of January, more than 2,200 students have received a loan through the RDLP program, with a total of $12.6 million spent.
“We are very excited about it,” said Brenda Smith, the principal of Eastview Elementary School.
The students were selected because of their work with students who have special needs.
Smith said the program is meant to provide students with the necessary tools to learn.
She said that students with special needs like children with epilepsy, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can use the program to pay for school expenses.
With so many children needing support in rural areas, she said, it’s critical that these students receive a good education.
Rural Development Loans program was created in 1994 to provide low-interest loans to rural communities and states that have experienced extreme financial hardship through the Great Recession.
Currently, the program covers 1,300 communities in the U.S. and Canada.
To learn more about the RDP, visit the Rural Education Loan Program website.