Bennet Urges Senate to Support Expanded Troops to Teachers Program

Expansion of Troops to Teachers Included in House-Passed Defense Authorization

Washington, DC – After the House of Representatives passed an amendment expanding the Troops to Teachers program in the defense authorization bill, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today urged the Senate to support the expanded program that helps veterans become teachers in schools where they are needed most. The expansion mirrors language in the Bennet-backed bipartisan Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act.

“Our veterans can become an important resource for our schools as we try to attract a new generation of teachers to the classroom,” said Bennet. “It only makes sense that we enhance pathways to the teaching profession and allow our military men and women to continue their service in our neediest classrooms. I urge the Senate to act as the House has and pass this commonsense expansion of a program that helps our veterans and our education system.”

This newly crafted Troops to Teachers amendment would allow more troops to teach in Colorado's and America's schools and would streamline and improve the program.

The Troops to Teachers program, originally created in 1994, provides qualified troops with financial incentives to teach in the nation's neediest schools. Since the program was created, a majority of Troops to Teachers have been hired in seven states, including Colorado.

Despite the program's success, many men and women coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan are ineligible to participate in the current program because of certain restrictions, including requirement of six years of military service and limits on the number of schools eligible to participate in the program. In Colorado, many of the school districts located near military installations - where Troops to Teachers participants often prefer to teach - are excluded from participation because of these restrictions.

For more information on Bennet’s Post-9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act, please click here.