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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 690-94
December 12, 1994

TROOPS TO TEACHERS PROGRAM EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for service members wishing to apply for the Troops to Teachers program has been expanded to include veterans discharged since October 1, 1990 according to program officials.

The change, made possible by the 1995 Defense Authorization Bill, opens up teaching opportunities for thousands of servicemembers caught up in the downsizing of America's armed forces. Previously, the program was open only to those members separated after January 19, 1994, the date the program was established by the Department of Defense.

Officially known as the Teacher and Teacher's Aide Placement Assistance Program, its goal is to help finance teacher certification training for separated servicemembers, terminated DOD and Department of Energy (DOE) civilians, and certain displaced defense contractor employees. They in turn, receive assistance in gaining employment as teachers and teachers aides in schools that serve children from low-income families and are experiencing teacher shortages. Since the program's inception in January 1994, more that 5,269 applications have been received leading to 167 placements in school districts across 30 states.

To be eligible for participation, military personnel must have served for at least six continuous years on active duty prior to release from service, have a service record that will lead to an honorable discharge, and apply no later than one year after release from active duty. Those who have already been out for more than a year, however, have until October 5, 1995 to apply.

Civilian employees of DOD and DOE must be facing termination as a result of the drawdown or base closure and may apply no later than one year after termination of employment. Both military and civilian personnel must have a baccalaureate degree to qualify for the teacher portion of the program. Military personnel who do not meet this education requirement for program eligibility at the time of discharge have five years to earn their baccalaureate degree. Those interested in entering public education as a teacher's aide must have an associate degree at the time of application. DOD agrees to provide a stipend of up to $5,000 to offset costs of alternative certification training. In return, participants must agree to accept employment for five years in a school serving low-income families.

Interested individuals may apply at base education centers and at offices handling transition assistance. Requests for information may be mailed to: Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES), 6490 Saufley Field Road, Pensacola, Florida, 32509-5243. Information is also available by calling the DANTES toll free number: 1-800-452-6616.