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Arizona gets $735,000 federal grant for Troops to Teachers program

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A state agency has received federal funding to help get more teachers — from a rather unusual source.

The Arizona Department of Education has received a $735,000, five-year grant for the Troops to Teachers program. The program’s goal is to help current and former members of the U.S. armed forces begin careers in teaching.

“I could not be any more delighted that the state of Arizona is a recipient of this prestigious grant,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

“I have enormous admiration and respect for our military personnel. … I hope this grant will encourage more military members to make the transition from one honorable professional to another.”

The grant dollars will pay for dedicated staff and overhead for Troops to Teachers.

Keith Snyder, deputy associate superintendent for Arizona’s Educator Excellence unit and a former Army soldier, will manage the program.

“Our hope is that this grant will provide another avenue for combating our current teacher shortage in Arizona,” Snyder said.

“Former military members offer a unique set of skills that are instrumental for teachers to possess: teamwork, adaptability, time management, learning to prioritize tasks and developing an environment of respect … all abilities that are developed in the military, but would also be tremendously utilized by a teacher.”

Congress enacted the Troops to Teachers program in 1993. The goal was to reach 500 service members by visiting each active duty military base at least once per quarter.