Recruiting military veterans to help fix Arizona teacher shortage

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Could recruiting military veterans be the answer to fixing Arizona’s teacher shortage?

Alan “AP” Powell, the founding chairman of Checkered Flag Run Foundation, thinks it could help.

[RELATED: Inaugural HeroZona event aims to celebrate, help veterans]

According to the latest statewide survey, there are more than 1,300 teacher vacancies in Arizona.

Veterans Reach to Teach is a program which aims to put veterans in the classroom to teach kids.

“The reason why we launched Veterans Reach to Teach, it was a program designed for retired veterans who didn’t have anything to do. We thought, what better way for veterans who served their country now can serve the classroom,” explained Powell. 

The program has been around for two years. Since then, leaders said 120 veterans have signed up and about 40 percent have become substitute teachers.

However, changes could be on the way.

“It was initially just for substitutes but we’re going to modify to make it for full-time teachers," said Powell.

The Veterans Reach to Teach program will benefit from food and beverage sales from the first-ever HeroZona, an event to celebrate and help veterans from Nov. 4 – Nov. 12.

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