For choice to work, one must be free to make it. And for there to be freedom, another must be there to defend it. For being free to choose in so many aspects of our lives, the Friedman Foundation team extends our utmost gratitude and support to America’s veterans.
For their benefit, we also applaud the education systems that recognize our deserving veterans and military members for their sacrifice:
- Following its enactment in 2009, 773,000 veterans have utilized the post-911 GI Bill, according to U.S. News & World Report, which today uniquely ranked the top universities serving veterans. In the top 10, listed at the Huffington Post, Penn State comes in first with a few private institutions also making the ranks—Marquette University (8), Syracuse University (4), and Tulane University (2)—rightly giving GI Bill users school choice to choose the public or private institutions that work best for them.
- In Arizona, active-duty military members can use the nation’s one-of-a-kind education savings accounts (ESA) program to choose the K-12 educational services that best fit their kids’ unique needs. Unfortunately, veterans are not specifically made eligible; however, Arizona’s recognition of active-duty military members is a step in the right direction. This is the first school year Arizona’s military members have been able to use the ESA program.
- And as our friends at the Foundation for Excellence in Education highlighted today:
Created in 1993, Troops to Teachers is a U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense program that helps military personnel transition to new careers as teachers in American public schools, where their skills, knowledge and experiences are most needed.
Teach For America has also recently launched a veterans recruitment initiative, You Served for America, Now Teach for America. Former U.S. Army staff sergeant and 2009 Teach For America alumnus Shaun Murphy, who is leading this initiative, said “joining Teach For America is an opportunity for veterans to put their leadership and skills to work in America’s highest-need communities while meeting their desire to continue to serve our nation.”
In those education programs, policymakers rightly acknowledge the sacrifice and dignity of our military men and women. Team Friedman joins that acknowledgement of our active-duty military and veterans—including our own family members and friends—for their service. To them, we humbly say, thank you.