“… Men and women of the United States military, you answered the call to serve your country in the finest armed services in the world, so, as you prepare to leave the military, we ask you to turn your attention to the homefront, to Uncle Sam's classrooms, where we need your services as teachers…” First Lady Laura Bush
This call to arms for America's classrooms has taken form through the Troops-To-Teachers (TTT) program.
Originally introduced in 1994, the program recently received a new infusion of financing from the federal government, along with the strong personal support of the First Lady. Its purpose is to challenge retirees, members leaving the armed forces, or drilling as Guard or Reserve members to consider teaching as a second career. The Troops-To-Teachers program enriches the quality of American education by helping to place mature, motivated, experienced and dedicated personnel in our nation's classrooms.
The program has been successful in producing quality teachers, a high percentage of whom are men and minorities. There are nearly 5000 who became teachers in our nations schools through the TTT program and the 2002 National Teacher of the Year is a TTT participant. In addition, these people have experience beneficial to successful teaching in high demand fields, such as mathematics, science, and special education, and are teaching in high demand areas such as inner cities and outlying rural areas.
The new TTT Program provides financial support directly to the service member to aid in acquiring the necessary certification to teach. In return for the financial support, the service member agrees to teach for three years in a “high needs” school. High needs is considered to be any school who has either 20% or 50% of their children receiving free or reduced lunches. For the 20% schools, an eligible service member can receive a stipend up to $5000 to be used for the certification process. For teaching in a 50% school, the eligible service member can receive a $10,000 bonus.
Educational eligibility is based on a variety of factors. To teach in the K-12 public school system a person must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree. For those interested in vocational or technical subjects, one year of college credits and 6 years experience is required.
Military eligibility takes a variety of forms. An overview of eligibility has people falling into one of the following categories: any retired personnel, regardless of when they retired, active duty or Guard/Reservist within one year of retirement; active duty with 6 or more years and willing to join a Guard/Reserve unit for three years; active duty or Guard/Reserves who, after 2 January 2002 are separated or retired for disability reasons. Drilling Guard/Reservists with 10 or more years service who are willing to commit to a three years with a drilling reserve. Individuals involuntarily discharged from active duty between October 1, 1990 and September 30, 1999 due to a Reduction in Force (RIF). To learn of all the requirements, service members need to contact TTT personnel for complete information.
For additional information, contact the New England Troops-To-Teachers.
Troy Gipps is the NE States Coordinator for this program and can be reached
by calling 1-888-463-6488 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.