Ritz proposes veterans-to-teacher scholarship program

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Veterans could receive scholarships and college credits for their military experience if they pursue K-12 teaching under a proposal backed by state Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Sen. Susan Glick of LaGrange.

The proposal—which would expand the Combat to College program that Glick pushed into law earlier this year—would be called Second Service.

“I want to ensure that the men and women who have served our country as airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers have an opportunity to serve our state, and ultimately, our nation, as educators,” Ritz said in a statement early Monday.

“The Second Service incentive program would offer financial assistance and college credits to any post 9-11 veteran who has a strong desire to continue serving Hoosiers in the classroom,” she said.

Ritz planned to detail that proposal—and announce a new reading program that partners Indiana National Guard members with elementary schools—during Veterans Day stops at Holland Elementary in Fort Wayne and at St. Mary’s College in South Bend.

The new literacy program is called Boots for Books and is part of the state’s larger Hoosier Family of Readers initiative. The National Guard will work with more than 263 literacy partners, according to the superintendent’s office.

“Boots for Books will give Indiana National Guard soldiers the opportunity to work with students in 30 schools and 30 after-school programs across Indiana to ensure students are reading by third grade,” she said.

Glick, a Republican, and Ritz, a Democrat, plan to introduce the Second Service legislation during the 2014 session, which begins in January. It would fund two- and four-year scholarships and translate military training and experience into college credits meant to help veterans earn K-12 education degrees from Indiana universities. Participants would be required to teach in an Indiana school for one year after graduation.

“Veterans have the skills, experiences and work ethic needed to manage a classroom,” Ritz said. “They understand what it means to serve their community, and I can’t think of a group of individuals who are as dedicated to the mission of service as veterans.”

The existing Combat to College program passed the legislature last spring. It requires state colleges and universities with at least 200 veteran students to establish a central location to provide them with help in admissions, registration and financial administration. The schools are also required to accommodate disabled veterans and assist all veterans with academic guidance and counseling.


  • really
    You really believe the only people coming out of the military are those who only have skills of shooting or being shot at? These men and women in uniform deserve teaching positions first if they qualify. Note that many have outstanding educations, college. Really, what makes a great teacher, someone who can deal effectively with children from all situations and be totally capable and competent/excel in the teaching area of expertise. Key is expert, not someone who uses the same teaching notes year after year, someone who really understands every problem in Math, Science, Technology, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and doesn't have students who understand the subject better than they do. How embarrassing is it for teachers have students correct them and know the subject better than them.
  • A stupid plan...
    It's as bad as "Teach for America," but worse--bringing people whose only expertise is military experience into a classroom? It's another pipeline for unqualified teachers to be brought into a classroom to undermine the profession of teaching. Reality check: Being a good teacher is difficult, being a great teacher is extremely difficult. Surviving being shot at is not a qualification in and of itself.
    • why not engineering and science to education
      I don't get this, Ritz is attempting to recover from the fact that she is a non-factor in education in Indiana because she has alienated all the rest of the State Education Leadership. Literally, she is a lame duck until she either quits or gives in to the flow. Also, why not count experience as Scientists and Engineers to teach education and bypass having to quit a job and take education classes to teach high school math, science, physics. Professionals could transition with a coach immediately from industry to teaching at the High School leveland take education classes online to learn methods of teaching. Students would rather have a competent industry experienced teacher who can gain capability in teaching to meet global education competition.

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

    2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

    3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

    4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

    5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.