This article appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of The Classroom Teacher.

The U.S. Department of Education approved the Texas Education Agency’s list of teacher shortage areas for the 2020-21 school year. Teachers in the following subject areas may qualify for federal, state and public service loan forgiveness programs:

  • Bilingual/ESL — elementary and secondary levels
  • Special education — elementary and secondary levels
  • Career and technical education — secondary levels
  • Technology applications and computer science — elementary and secondary levels
  • Mathematics — secondary levels

Approval of the shortage areas gives administrators the ability to recruit and retain qualified teachers and to help reward teachers for their hard work using the loan forgiveness opportunities. School principals can certify that a teacher has met the minimum qualifications required for certain loan forgiveness programs. 

While science is not a shortage area in 2020-21, some loan forgiveness programs include science teachers. Read more here.

Watch webinar on restraint, seclusion policies

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced an initiative to examine the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. As part of this initiative, the department created a free webinar to help educators understand how Section 504, Title II and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act inform the development and implementation of policies governing the use of restraint and seclusion. Click here to watch the 45-minute video. 

Find resources at new website

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a new website to provide educators, students, parents and law enforcement with resources to prepare for and address threats to safety and security in schools. Explore the resources at