FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2011
CONTACT: MARA LEE
Reps. Matsui, Petri and Courtney Introduce Legislation To Expand “Troops To Teachers” Program
Bipartisan effort will expand opportunities for returning troops to teach in nation’s schools
WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), and Doris Matsui (D-CA) today introduced the bipartisan Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act of 2011 (H.R. 1947), which seeks to expand the existing Troops to Teachers program to allow more troops to teach in America’s schools.
“Our men and women in uniform are among the most talented, public-spirited Americans in today’s workforce,” stated Representative Joe Courtney. “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 encourages military veterans to continue their public service through teaching,” stated Representative Tom Petri. “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,” said Representative Doris Matsui. “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.”
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 by creating an advisory board charged with continuously seeking ways to improve awareness and participation in the program.
According to the Military Officers Association of America, this legislation, “Would help reenergize 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.”
# # #