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No Child Left Behind: A Desktop Reference
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Troops-to-Teachers (II-C-1-A)


The Troops-to-Teachers program encourages former military personnel to become classroom teachers. The program recruits eligible participants and provides them with referral and placement services as well as financial assistance for teaching in high-need schools. The purpose of this program is to help relieve teacher shortages, especially in high-need areas such as math, science and special education; provide positive role models for public school students; and assist former military personnel in making the transition to teaching as a second career. To date, more than 4,300 teachers have been hired through the program, in every state and in more than 2,000 school districts.

WHAT'S NEW--The No Child Left Behind Act

Increases Accountability for Student Performance

  • Requires the secretary of education (along with the secretaries of defense and transportation, and the comptroller general of the United States) to submit to Congress no later than March 31, 2006, a report on the effectiveness of the program in the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel by local school districts and public charter schools. The report must include information about the number of participants, the schools in which they are employed, the grade levels and academic subjects they teach, and retention rates.

How It Works

Troops-to-Teachers provides support and financial services to former military personnel interested in becoming teachers. The program is administered by the Department of Defense through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) under a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Education.

Key Requirements

The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Education, which transfers the funds to the Department of Defense DANTES office. Troops-to-Teachers itself does not provide participants with preservice training to become certified teachers; rather, the program provides guidance on how to obtain certification, maintains a nationwide teacher referral system, has placement offices in 24 states, and provides participants with lists of district vacancies. Participants receive a stipend of up to $5,000 to pay for certification costs or a bonus of $10,000 if they teach full-time in a high-need school as an elementary, secondary, vocational or technical teacher for at least three years.

How It Achieves Quality

According to a Troops-to-Teachers survey conducted in 1998, the program has successfully recruited significant numbers of men and minorities to teaching. For example, 90 percent of Troops-to-Teachers participants are male and 29 percent are minorities, compared to 26 percent and 13 percent, respectively, on a national level. Troops-to-Teachers participants are also more likely than teachers on a national level to teach in shortage subject areas, such as mathematics, science and special education, and to teach or be willing to teach in inner cities and rural areas.

How Quality Is Measured

The quality of the program will be measured by its progress in recruiting and retaining qualified personnel. This progress will be reported to Congress by March 31, 2006.

Key Activities For The State Education Agencies

State education agencies may participate in the following activities:

  • Operate Troops-to-Teachers recruitment offices.
  • Identify and coordinate activities with high-need school districts.
  • Implement Innovative Preretirement Teacher Certification Program grants during years in which this program is implemented.

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Last Modified: 09/14/2007