Hoyer Applauds Federal Funds for Maryland's "Troops to Teachers" Program

Funds To Enhance The Alternative Certification Program

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Hoyer today applauded the award of a $2 million federal grant to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for a project designed to improve teacher mobility. MSDE's Troops to Teachers Program received the three-year grant aimed at eliminating some of the barriers to certification reciprocity that military career changers face when they begin searching for teaching careers in public schools. A collaboration with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the Maryland project will help states across the nation increase opportunities for entering and staying in the education field.

"Ten years ago, Congress created the Troops to Teachers program at the Department of Defense to help improve public school education by providing funds to recruit, prepare, and support former members of the military services as teachers in public schools," said Congressman Hoyer. "Since 1994, thousands of retired members of the military have become math, science and technology teachers and I am pleased that Maryland will be able to benefit from this program to boost the number of qualified teachers in our state."

Certification requirements vary across the country, often making it difficult for teachers certified through Troops to Teachers to move from state to state. MSDE's project, one of two such grants awarded by the federal Troops to Teachers program, will review requirements in other states in an attempt to reach common ground.

The new project will recognize military career changers' qualifications and expertise and help them acquire the additional skills they need to teach in Maryland's classrooms. Colleges and universities in the state will be invited to join the program through their teacher education programs.

The program's success led to Troops to Teachers being made a feature of the No Child Left Behind Act. Through the new grant award, Maryland is recognized for its commitment to supporting Troops to Teachers and its national leadership in education and certification reform.

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