WILLIAMSBURG — The Troops to Teachers Virginia Center (TTTVC) at the William & Mary School of Education has secured $760,000 in federal pandemic relief funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER) to assist military veterans and service members in their journey to become educators.
The investment will provide financial assistance for required tests and fees, tuition support, signing bonuses in high-needs school divisions, and reimbursement for other costs associated with licensure, the center said, adding that funds are being awarded to eligible applicants on a rolling basis through September 2024
TTTVC said it welcomes inquiries and encourages interested applicants to apply.
“We’re like a clearinghouse of information,” said Karen Hogue, interim director of Troops to Teachers Virginia. “We help service members and veterans identify the different ways to become a licensed teacher.”
Through a statewide outreach program, the center offers service members guidance in meeting educational and licensure requirements to enter a wide variety of teaching fields.
“As the ongoing educator shortage continues to challenge Virginia schools,” Hogue elaborated, “The military population is a natural fit for the classroom because of their
demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to public service.”
The ESSER funding boost, announced on Jan. 25 by the Virginia Department of Education, signifies the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Troops to Teachers program and its mission of supporting the nation’s veterans as they transition into fulfilling careers in education, TTTVC said.
“More than 180 veterans and retired military personnel are teaching in Virginia
classrooms today after beginning second careers with the assistance of the Troops to
Teachers Virginia Center, and another 30 veterans have earned licenses with the
center’s support and are seeking positions,” said Hogue. “The ESSER funds will allow the center to expand services and incentives for veterans considering second careers as
Veterans and service members who are interested in finding out how their skills can help address a critical need for Virginia’s students should contact the TTTVC. For more information about the Troops to Teachers Virginia Center and how eligible veterans can benefit from this opportunity, visit the website.