Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.; Tom Petri, R-Wis.; and Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; have reintroduced a bill that would tweak elements of the Troops to Teachers program, which gives stipends to veterans to get their teaching credentials in exchange for working three years in schools serving poor students.
With one exception, it’s identical to a bill introduced in 2009 sponsored at that time by Rep. Courtney. The exception? The new bill does not specify a funding-authorization level (the earlier bill set one at $50 million). Money talk is definitely not in vogue these days on the Hill!
The major proposed changes are to decrease service requirements for participating veterans and to change eligibility requirements for participating districts from “high need” districts to any district receiving Title I funds. As I wrote back in 2009, this change would potentially make the program somewhat less targeted.
The bill would also create an advisory board to seek out and implement ways to improve participation in the program.
Keep your eye on the proposal as ESEA reauthorization continues. One-off bills like this are often the basis of committee or floor amendments.
UPDATE (May 27, 4:52 p.m.) Rep. Matsui has managed to attach the proposal to a defense authorization bill now making its way through Congress.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.