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Troops to Teachers Program May Continue

By Staff Sgt. Alicia K. Borlik, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 1999 – The president's fiscal 2000 budget includes $18 million to keep the Troops to Teachers program going another year. The Defense Department program was scheduled to end September 1999.

Troops to Teachers recruits former military members and trains them to be school teachers. More than 3,000 participants have found teaching jobs since the program began in 1994.

The president's fiscal 2000 Troops to Teachers plans include doubling the number of placements through scholarships and other support. The aim is to funnel program participants into schools in high-poverty areas and into math, science and other high-need subjects.

The DoD program has already shown success in filling similar positions. According to the Troops to Teachers survey released last August, 29 percent of Troops to Teachers participants were teaching math; 8 percent, biology; 11 percent, special education; and 24 percent were teaching in inner-city schools.

In Jan. 21 White House remarks to legislators and educators, President Clinton called Troops to Teachers an "incredible pool of potential teacher talent" in the veteran population.

"They've dealt with every kind of human problem you can imagine," he said. "They understand how to manage people and resources -- and limited resources -- to do a job of limitless importance." He also noted that many military members favor math and science and have a high willingness to teach in inner-city and rural schools.

Legislative action to extend the Troops to Teachers program is not expected until late fiscal 1999. Officials suggested retiring and separating military personnel apply for the program if interested in a teaching career. All applicants will be informed of new program policies when they become available.

The DoD program will continue to offer applicants placement and referral assistance. State offices will also continue to provide assistance. Updates will be published on the Troops to Teachers Web site at http://www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_web/troopstoteachers/index.htm?Flag=True.

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