NJ Veterans to Benefit With New Program [AUDIO]
Legislation signed into law Thursday by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno helps post-9/11 veterans find employment through an expedited teacher certification program.
With the new law, created from bills S-1026 and A-1294, veterans who successfully complete the program will a receive a bachelor's degree and satisfy the necessary requirements to apply for a certificate to teach kindergarten through grade 8.
The VETeach pilot is scheduled to launch September 2012 at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Stockton plans to prepare future educators in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
"As a result of the passage of this legislation, with strong bipartisan support, veterans in New Jersey and across the United States will have access to the one of the most innovative programs available for those seeking a teaching degree," said Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp at the National Guard Armory in Atlantic City.
VETeach has been promoted as the first condensed teaching certification program. It would last for 36 months, adhering to the benefit time limits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
"There is not enough that we can do for our men and women coming back after serving their country," said Acting Governor Guadagno. "They're going to make fabulous teachers."
Senator Jim Whelan (D), a bill sponsor, said, "In order to give our kids the best education possible, we need to recruit new teachers who are dedicated and committed to the kids that they teach.”