The U.S. Department of Education released a plan Dec. 9 to help teachers who have been wrongly hit with debts, sometimes totaling tens of thousands of dollars, because of a troubled federal grant program.

Following an NPR investigation, the Education Department in May launched a top-to-bottom review of the TEACH grant program, which gives money for college to those who agree to teach a high-need subject, like math or science, in a Title I school for four years after graduation. Problems with paperwork led to thousands of grants being turned into loans. USDE now says it will give teachers who lost their grants a second chance to prove they were meeting the requirements.

The department is working to finalize the details of its fix by the end of January. Teachers who had TEACH grants converted to loans are encouraged to go to for more information.