The Defense Department will need to restart its Troops to Teachers program next year thanks to language included in the annual defense clearance bill finalized by Congress earlier this week.
The 28-year-old program was shut down by defense officials earlier this fall as part of departmental planning for post-military transition efforts. Final final payments for those graduating under the program were due to end next May.
But the move sparked objections from a number of outside veteran groups who called the Troops to Teachers program an important resource for military personnel seeking post-service education jobs.
The program, originally administered by the Department of Education, is designed to help veterans interested in teaching jobs by providing up to $ 10,000 in financial support and coordination with representatives from the Condition when placed in schools in need of teachers.
Approximately 23,000 people have participated in the program since 1993. The program costs approximately $ 15 million per year. But Pentagon leaders had indicated in recent years that they believed the money could be spent more efficiently elsewhere.
Congress disagreed. In the Defense Authorization Bill, lawmakers instructed the ministry to continue the program until at least July 2025, three years longer than authorities had planned.
They are also demanding that military leaders provide a full analysis of the program by next December, looking at running costs, the number of veterans assisted by the aid, and the impact on schools in need of additional educators. .
The expansion of the transition assistance effort has garnered praise from American Legion officials, who, along with other veterans groups, have been pushing to protect the program for months.
“Just as military service is an honorable profession, so is the education of our nation’s youth,” said Paul Dillard, national commander of the American Legion, in a statement. “We believe this is a benefit not only for the veteran, but also for the students in classrooms across the country who would be taught by men and women who are proven leaders in battle.”
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the measure in the coming days.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on policies relating to military personnel and veterans. His work has earned him numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.