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Lawmakers Aim to Expand Troops to Teachers

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A bi-partisan group of Congressmen are working to expand the existing Troops to Teachers program to allow more troops to teach in America’s schools.

A new bill in Congress seeks to make it easier for military men and women to become teachers.

Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Tom Petri (R-WI), and Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced H.R. 1947, the Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act of together.

“Our men and women in uniform are among the most talented, public-spirited Americans in today’s workforce,” Courtney said.  “Expanding this program will direct their unmatched experience, discipline, and leadership skills into America’s classrooms.  This is a win-win situation for our schools, military personnel, and especially our children.”

The Troops to Teachers program, originally created in 1994, provides qualified troops with financial incentives to teach in the nation’s neediest schools. The legislation will make the existing program more accessible by reducing length of military service requirements for participants, expanding the number of school districts at which troops may receive a stipend to teach, and creating an advisory board charged with continuously seeking ways to improve awareness and participation in the program.

 “The Troops to Teachers program encourages military veterans to continue their public service through teaching,” Petri added.  “In addition to being more diverse than the general teaching population, teachers who have served in the military bring an array of valuable skills and character traits to the classroom. These changes will enable more of our nation's veterans to choose teaching as their next career as they transition away from military service.”

“Our country is in need of qualified teachers; and veterans and returning troops are in need of support and assistance when they return home,” Matsui said. “This legislation addresses both of these issues, providing our classrooms with teachers who possess unique leadership skills, and giving our nation’s veterans the opportunity to serve their country again. Expanding the Troops to Teachers program will help America’s veterans and students reach their full potential.”

According to the Military Officers Association of America, the legislation “Would help re-energize the Troops to Teachers program by making the program much more accessible and attractive to younger service members who have service since 9/11.”

The American Legion stated that this legislation “Will not only assist veterans transitioning to new careers as teachers, but also provide first-class role models for America’s children and youth.”


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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Copyright © 2011 Education World

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