OPE: Office of Postsecondary Education
   Current Section
Letter to Chief State School Officers
Regarding Designation of State Teacher Shortage Areas

OMB No.: 1840-0595
Expires: 12/31/2016

August 11, 2015

Dear Chief State School Officer:

This letter gives notice of the closing date for receipt of State-proposed teacher shortage areas for designation by the U. S. Department of Education (Department) for the 2016-2017 school year. You must submit your 2016-2017 proposed teacher shortage areas by Thursday, December 10, 2015. A copy of the Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing 1990-1991 through 2015-2016, published in March 2015, may be found at the following Web site:


There are Federal program benefits available for those who may teach in shortage areas proposed by your State under the following regulations:

  • Targeted teacher deferment for borrowers under the Family Federal Education Loan (FFEL) and Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) programs (34 CFR 682.210(q));

  • Full-time teaching in fields of expertise, cancellation of up to 100 percent of their debt under the Federal Perkins Loan Program (34 CFR 674.53(c)); and

  • Teaching obligation fulfillment for recipients under the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program (34 CFR 686).

Links to the PDF files of the following three final regulations, as published in the Federal Register, are included in this letter:

  • The December 18, 1992 (34 CFR Part 682), regulations regarding the targeted teacher deferment for borrowers under the FFEL and Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) programs;

  • The November 30, 1994 (34 CFR Part 674), regulations regarding the cancellations for full-time teaching in fields of expertise for borrowers under the Federal Perkins Loan Program; and

  • The June 23, 2008 (34 CFR Part 686), regulations regarding the obligations for full-time teaching in a high-need field, at a low-income elementary or secondary school for grant recipients under the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

Please refer to these three regulations, in addition to the enclosed checklist, for assistance in preparing your State’s teacher shortage area proposal.

If your State does not submit the required written documentation proposing teacher shortage areas, FFEL/SLS and Federal Perkins Loan borrowers and TEACH Grant recipients who teach in your State may not receive Federal program benefits to which they may be entitled.

We are also enclosing a Proposed Teacher Shortage Area Designation Submission Checklist that itemizes the information you must submit to the Department. To expedite processing of your proposal, please ensure that each item on the checklist is addressed and that all assurances are clearly stated. If your State chooses not to propose Teacher Shortage Areas, please reply in a letter noting the applicable school years for which areas are not being proposed.

Proposals sent by regular U.S. mail, special delivery, or FEDEX services should be addressed to:

John Clement, Director
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Office of Postsecondary Education/Higher Education Programs
K Street Location, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20202

Hand delivered proposals will be accepted at the above address between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily (Eastern Standard Time), except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

The time required to complete this collection of information is estimated to average 80 hours per response, including the time to review instructions, search existing data resources, gather and maintain the data needed, and complete the review of the collection of information. If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate(s) or suggestions for improving this data collection, please write to: Director of the Privacy and Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Washington, DC 20202, or e-mail ICDocketMgr@ed.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1840-0595.

If you have comments or concerns regarding the status of your individual submission or other questions, write directly to the Program Officer at the address above. If you prefer, John Clement can also be reached by phone at (202) 502-7520 or via e-mail at John Clement@ed.gov. Thank you for submitting a timely proposal. We look forward to receiving your proposal of designated teacher shortage areas in your State no later than December 10, 2015.


John Clement
Director, Institutional Programs
  Development Division


  1. Proposed Teacher Shortage Area Designation Submission Checklist
  2. Final Regulations published in the Federal Register on December 18, 1992 (34 CFR Part 682): PDF (834K)
  3. Final Rule published in the Federal Register on November 30, 1994 (34 CFR Part 674): PDF (463K)
  4. Final Regulations published in the Federal Register on June 23, 2008 (34 CFR Part 686): PDF (446K)


Teacher Shortage Areas page
Teacher Shortage Areas 1990-1991 through 2015-2016
MS Word (1.07MB) | PDF (893K)

OPE Policy Initiatives

Last Modified: 10/20/2015