It is the purpose of this section to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.
The Secretary shall cancel not more than $5,000 in the aggregate of the loan obligation on a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that is outstanding after the completion of the fifth complete school year of teaching described in subsection (b)(1). No borrower may receive a reduction of loan obligations under both this section and section 1078–10 of this title.
A loan amount for a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan may be a qualified loan amount for the purposes of this subsection only to the extent that such loan amount was used to repay a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a loan made under section 1078 or 1078–8 of this title, for a borrower who meets the requirements of subsection (b), as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
The Secretary is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any refunding of any canceled loan.
An individual who is employed as a teacher in a private school and is exempt from State certification requirements (unless otherwise applicable under State law), may, in lieu of the requirement of subsection (b)(1)(B), have such employment treated as qualifying employment under this section if such individual is permitted to and does satisfy rigorous subject knowledge and skills tests by taking competency tests in the applicable grade levels and subject areas. For such purposes, the competency tests taken by such a private school teacher shall be recognized by 5 or more States for the purpose of fulfilling the highly qualified teacher requirements under section 9101 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 7801], and the score achieved by such teacher on each test shall equal or exceed the average passing score of those 5 States.