Troops to Teachers program gets $1.9M federal grant

Troops to Teachers program gets $1.9M federal grant
The Troops to Teachers program in Virginia has been around for a little over a year.

(WWBT) - Virginia will be putting an additional $1.9 million toward recruiting veterans to serve as teachers.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced a five-year grant from the Department of Defense that will provide $380,000 annually to the Troops to Teachers Virginia Center at the College of William & Mary.

The center is just over a year old and was started with a $400,000 grant from the Department of Defense in April 2017.

The program helps retiring veterans acquire state teaching licenses and counseling to help them start a second career and connects them with prospective jobs at school districts across the state.

In a press release, Northam said the program is vital to fulfilling education jobs throughout the state.

"This additional funding will allow the Commonwealth to build on our effort to tap this pool of talent as a means of easing the teacher shortage, especially in critical areas like mathematics and career and technical education," the release said.

The program has been championed by Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, who became a teacher after serving in the Marine Corps.

"Teaching is a wonderful opportunity for our servicemen and women, and they have immense experience that is valuable to our students," Qarni said the press release. "This new federal funding will enable us to support more veterans in their transition to the classrooms, benefiting the teachers and students alike."

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