David West has been battling a recent decision to overturn a U.S. Department of Education TEACH Grant, into an interest-bearing loan. He has fulfilled his teaching requirements, in a qualifying class, and school. Due to a paperwork error, and a shortage of time to return the documents, David’s $4000 grant is now impacting his credit. David is not alone though, and teachers across the country are now facing similar situations and penalties.
David refuses to “stand down,” and is fighting this decision. Previously he spoke with James Hood with the publication Consumer Affairs. David’s case is also mentioned in an article by the Washington Post. He has also reached out to South Carolina State Senators Joe Wilson, and Lindsey Graham, both of which resulted in minimal to no assistance. Numerous lawyers have spoken with him, and a case is pending in the courts.
Following a career as a graphics designer, David returned to college later in life as an older student. He wanted a change of career, and the TEACH Grant was an appealing financial decision to help him, and his family achieve his goals. The grant was to help pay his tuition costs. He teaches art and photography in Lexington, SC.
He enjoys teaching, and proudly will show you the work of one of his students who won “best of show” for her photography piece in the South Carolina State Fair in 2017. His house has no shortage of art supplies, and he encourages both his daughter and son to explore their creative talents. Photography is one of David’s main passions, and he helped document the Mid-Carolina Honor Choir’s trip to New York City where they performed at Carnegie Hall. Examples of his work as both teacher and photographer can be viewed on the YouTube documentary video he made.
David is still teaching and continues to do so. “What is a 2-day delay of paperwork compared to 4 years of work?” he asks. David and teachers like him across the country simply want a level of fairness in the decisions made regarding their grants.
“Teach” Featured Image by Pexels.