NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Assessing "Troops To Teachers" Program

February 16, 1999

The Troops to Teachers program, begun in 1994, was designed as a way to provide job opportunities to servicemen and women who had been caught in the cutback of military personnel after the end of the Cold War. It also promised to provide a pool of teachers -- many with a science and math background -- to a teacher-short nation.

The president of the National Center on Education Information, C. Emily Feistritzer, has completed an analysis of the program and concludes that "military people transition extremely well into teaching."

  • Over five years, more than 3,000 retired military personnel have become public school teachers in every state except Iowa.
  • In that time, over 800 school districts have hired military veterans.
  • When the program began, the Pentagon offered $5,000 to every GI who agreed to become a teacher and funneled grants of up to $50,000 to school districts to entice them to hire ex-military personnel.
  • But since 1995, no federal funds have been dedicated to the program -- which, until then, had cost taxpayers about $120 million.

On January 22, President Clinton announced plans to revive Troops to Teachers with $18 million for fiscal year 2000.

Source: Lisa Hollman, "Retired GIs Perform Well in Easing Teacher Shortage," Washington Times, February 16, 1999.


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