1:16pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Fitzhugh Calls Bill "Piling On" Teachers

Default on Student Loans, License to Teach Revoked

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Teachers and lobbyists would be penalized for defaulting on student loans under legislation headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Charles Sargent of Franklin passed the House 70-24 last week. The companion bill was approved in the Senate 32-1 last year.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, under the proposal individuals could lose the right to practice their professions if they default.

Sargent says most other professionals who have state-issued licenses are already subject to losing them for failure to pay student loans and it’s appropriate to add teachers.

Among the bills opponents is Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley.  Fitzhugh says,

"As you know on these loans, they can't be discharged in bankruptcy and there are many ways that they can be collected, so I thought this was just a bit of piling on teachers. It just didn't seem like the timing was quite right."

Under the bill waiting for the Governor’s signature lobbyists and sports agents are also being added to the list of those who can have their licenses revoked for student  loan defaults.