Troops to Teachers Virginia receives $760K to help military veterans become educators
The Virginian-Pilot January 30, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — The Virginia Department of Education is allocating $760,000 from federal relief funds to help veterans and retired military personnel start their second careers as teachers.
The money will support the Troops to Teachers Virginia Center, which helps “break down barriers” for service members who hope to become teachers.
“We’re like a clearinghouse of information,” said Karen Hogue, interim director of Troops to Teachers Virginia. “We help these service members who are either transitioning out of the military, or are already out, identify the different ways to become a licensed teacher.”
The funding will be used to help recruit and retain service members in the teaching field. It will do things like reimburse veterans for test fees to become licensed teachers and pay for signing bonuses for high needs school divisions, which the state will identify at a later date, Hogue said.
Since Troops to Teachers Virginia was introduced in 2017, the center has helped approximately 2,500 service members on their “path to licensure.” This could mean anything from offering financial assistance to giving guidance on the myriad routes to becoming a teacher.
Of those who have been helped so far, at least 180 are teaching in Virginia classrooms. Another 30 veterans have earned licenses and are seeking teaching positions.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive directive last September seeks to address widespread teaching shortages across the state by focusing on recruitment and retention efforts. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said in a press release the directive acknowledges there is “no single solution” to this problem.
“But stepping up our efforts to enlist veterans into our teaching force is a key part of our overall strategy,” Balow said in a press release. “I am so grateful for all of the veterans who have accepted this new mission and for the value they are bringing to our communities and classrooms.”
©2023 The Virginian-Pilot.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.