What is Troops to Teachers?

Texas Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a federally funded program designed to assist retiring and separating military veterans to become teachers in their next careers. Since its beginning in November 1995, the Texas Troops to Teachers Office has counseled over 27,000 veterans, advising them on routes and programs to achieve full teacher certification in Texas, and referring them to districts for employment. Texas leads the nation in the number of veterans who have become teachers, with over 3,000 hired since 1995.

Nationally, the Troops to Teachers Program is funded by the federal Department of Defense, but is managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) office in Pensacola, Florida. The DANTES office manages the registration of TTT participants, distributes all funding, and maintains contact with TTT participants who have received financial benefits.

At the state level, the Texas Troops to Teachers Office provides information and guidance to participants on all aspects of teacher certification. Texas TTT works with teacher certification programs to assist our participants in selecting the program that will work best for their certification process. We actively market the TTT program to all university and alternative certification programs, and provide funding to eligible participants to help pay for their certification programs and incentive bonuses for those who teach at high-needs schools. The Texas TTT office works closely with military installations to be sure that all eligible veterans who want to become teachers are aware of the benefits available from TTT. All service members and veterans, whether they qualify for funding from TTT or not, are encouraged to contact the Texas TTT office for information and assistance in becoming teachers in Texas.

To register for the Troops to Teachers program, click here.

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Native American Affairs & Indian Preferance Act

"If you are Native American or American Indian, including Alaskan Native, and can claim this documentation, via a tribal affiliation, then you have a greater opportunity for employment teaching on or near a reservation. Teaching positions offered with the Bureau of Indian Education, who claim the Indian Preference are eligible, in many states. There are different types of schools on or near reservations: Public, Tribal, BIE, and Mission.

The Indian Preference Act of 1934 gives equally qualified Indian candidates preference on jobs with the BIE. Verification Form BIA-4432 must be submitted with the application for employment with a BIE school, if claiming Indian preference. Consideration will be given to non-Indian applicants, status or reinstatement eligible persons, in the absence of qualified Indian Preference eligible persons, so this should not dissuade you from teaching on a reservation if you are not a native. Public schools on or near reservations, run by the state, do not have that Indian Preference.

There is also a Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, offered by the federal government, for all teachers teaching in a designated Title I school in which up to 17,000 in federal student loans may be relieved: for teachers teaching in specified content areas, and teaching for at least five full consecutive years. "All elementary and secondary schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups, under contract with BIE, qualify as schools serving low-income students. These schools are qualifying schools for purposes of this loan forgiveness program, as well as Troops to Teachers.

The Bureau of Indian Education oversees a total of 183 elementary and secondary schools, located on 64 reservations in 23 states. Of these, 59 are BIE-operated and 124 are Tribally-operated under BIE contracts or grants. The Bureau also funds or operates off-reservation boarding schools and peripheral dormitories near reservations for students attending public schools.

In regards to certification, if the school receives federal funding, teachers must be "highly qualified" per NCLB, meaning an applicant must obtain state licensing, for most positions. Some provisions are made in certain positions or vocational certifications, where the need is high.

The application and hiring procedures are uniquely different in each of the three types of school operations discussed above. If you have any questions about the Indian Preference Act, teaching on a reservation, or the types of schools and their procedures, please contact the Troops to Teachers Director of Native American Outreach, Joey Strickland at

"Thank you for your service and commitment to our nation and children."


Bonus Application Information

DANTES Information Bulletin (DIB)

New Texas JROTC Certification

Native American Affairs & Indian Preferance Act

Important Updates to TEA Tests!

Important Updates to TEA Core Subject Areas

Referral Database: Get On It!

Certification Test Preparation Materials Fort Hood


Central Texas schools struggling to fill teaching positions
By Erin Cargile Published: August 11, 2015, 10:00 pm

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Central Texas schools are facing a quickly fading timeline as they try to fill teaching positions before classes begin.

You could feel the excitement at Stony Point High School. Tuesday, the cafeteria was filled with 340 new teachers going through Round Rock ISD’s orientation.

Cassandra Rodriguez came from Harlingen where she taught social studies for seven years. “It actually all happened really fast within a week I was already offered the position,” said Rodriguez.

Lauren Moorhead, a brand new math teacher with no experience, sent in countless applications. “I was terrified trying to think of what my next step would be,” said Moorhead. “It was the best day ever when I got the call that they wanted me to come work.”

The district’s interim communications director Corey Ryan said it’s been a normal summer when it comes to hiring, but other Central Texas school districts told KXAN just days before schools start back, some are struggling to hire teachers. The hardest positions for Round Rock to fill? “Dual language elementary and then with our health technology specialist positions in our CTE programs at our high school,” said Ryan. Finding bilingual teachers is a common challenge across the board. Pflugerville ISD has 25 openings listed on their website just in their elementary schools. Eanes ISD says they are especially short on Special Education teachers. They’re having to fill spots with teaching assistants and a lot of their substitutes have been hired full time.

Some attribute the lack of candidates to teacher layoffs, when districts had to cut back big time. That deterred many students from going into the teaching profession altogether.

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Last Updated: August 28, 2015

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