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ADA, AAPD: ask your legislators to support faculty loan repayment bills

May 23, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and other dental organizations are asking dentists to contact their legislators to support legislation that would strengthen the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program.

In a May 23 email sent to ADA and AAPD grassroots members, Dr. Tommy Harrison, chair, American Dental Political Action Committee, and Dr. Warren A. Brill, chair, AAPD Political Action Committee, urged the dentists to contact their lawmakers to ask for support for HR 996 and S 359. The bills would strengthen the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment program by exempting certain dental faculty participants from having to pay income tax on the federal loan repayment they receive.

“We can all agree that one of the pillars of preserving our profession’s future is ensuring that we attract top educators to our dental schools,” wrote Drs. Harrison and Brill. “With the staggering student loan debt that many graduates face, and the income disparity between the private sector and a career in teaching, the ability to retain and attract top faculty is more difficult than ever.”
 
Using statistics from a 2018 survey by the American Dental Education Association, the email alert noted that with 40% of the dental faculty workforce nearing retirement age and only 0.4% of dental school seniors planning to enter academia after graduation, the legislation could help schools recruit and retain quality faculty.
 
The email also highlighted Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Grace Meng D-N.Y., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Roger Ricker, R-Miss., for being the lead sponsors of this bipartisan legislation in Congress.
 
To contact your legislators to support these bills, visit the ADA Legislative Action Center at ADA.ActionCenter.org.