By Allen Balint
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The military is aiming to ease Alabama’s shortage of teachers.
Military officials are leading two efforts designed to increase the number of teachers in the state’s public schools, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.
“In order to replace teachers that are retiring and those that are choosing not to go into the field, it’s almost becoming a crisis to find good, qualified teachers in Alabama, especially where we are,” said James Carter, superintendent in rural Greene County.
About 15 percent of its teacher positions in the district are open, the Montgomery newspaper reported.
“There’s not a lot of people that want to come and live in areas that are isolated from the urban centers,” Carter said.
One of the initiatives designed to help schools like his is a Department of Defense program that was established in 1993 as a means to ease transition of military service members into civilian life. The program has put more than 20,000 veterans into classrooms nationally.
The program used to be administered by the Department of Education. Stillman College became the education department’s first community partner in Alabama to handle the Troops to Teachers program. The college chose to focus its efforts on staffing Greene and Hale counties schools, and in October 2018, it was awarded a $400,000 grant to do so, the newspaper reported.