60°F
weather icon Clear

Education issues challenge veterans

“Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic” used to be a mantra when it came to educating veterans and others. But today when it comes to educating veterans, and veterans educating others, the challenges regarding funding and adequate personnel are much more complicated.

Veterans who are interested in taking classes to earn a pilot’s license are currently up in the air (pun intended) about the future of such training. The House is studying H.R. 3016, the Veterans Employment, Education and Healthcare Improvements Act, which some general aviation groups are opposed to.

If passed, the act would cap flight-training tuition and fees at $20,235. According to press reports and comments by civilian leaders of several air transportation associations, that amount of money provides challenges to advanced flight-training benefits. The average cost to earn just a basic pilot’s license is around $10,000. To continue advanced training that could lead to a professional position for a scheduled airline is easily in the area of $75,000 or more, although there are minor exceptions that could reduce the cost to a somewhat lesser degree.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has introduced an amendment to H.R. 636, the Federal Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016. The stated purpose of that legislation is to improve employment opportunities for veterans by requiring the head of the Federal Aviation Administration to determine whether occupations at the agency related to unmanned aircraft systems’ technology and regulations can be incorporated into the veterans employment program.

Heller’s amendment does not address the contentious funding cap. But he issued a statement about his amendment claiming that passage of H.R. 636 would provide for more employment opportunities for veterans in the field of unmanned aircraft system technology.

Veterans who are more concerned with Earth-bound employment might consider applying to be an educator for the Clark County School District. Known by the dual names of Troops to Teachers and Troops to Education, the district is seeking veterans for full-time or part-time positions, noting that many veterans have special skills and talents.

Meg Nigro, the executive director of recruitment and development for the human resources unit of the school district, told me those talents can be demonstrated through the ability of veterans to work in teams; to relate to individuals from a wide range of age groups and economic, ethnic and educational backgrounds; and by a sense of community along with their willingness to support the nation.

Nigro said that individuals with bachelor’s degrees in any subject area may be eligible for state-approved teacher preparation programs leading to licensing and full-time employment in area schools. Individuals without a bachelor’s degree can be eligible to become accredited substitute teachers. And there is also a large demand for support staff including such positions as instructional aides, bus drivers, custodians, electricians, food service workers, mechanics and school safety/police officers.

Nigro, is assisted by GeorgeAnn Rice, the retired assistant superintendent of human resources for the district. Rice encourages interested veterans to go to troopstoeducation.eventbrite.com. Teachers and candidates for other positions are currently being interviewed and trained for the upcoming school year that begins in August. Approximately 2,000 new teachers are needed for the coming school year, along with 400 support staff individuals.

Chuck N. Baker is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a Purple Heart recipient. Every other Sunday he discusses veterans issues over several Lotus Broadcasting AM radio stations in Southern Nevada.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Veteran uses talents to help other veterans

Robert Serge served in the United States Navy for 20 months as part of an ordnance laboratory test facility. As he puts it, “We designed harbor mines and stuff like that.”

Holistic treatments help many veterans

Last year in one of my columns, I briefly discussed holistic medicine and efforts that the Department of Veterans Affairs had been taking to include such treatments in its care of veterans. Since then, the VA has made some additional efforts to include nontraditional treatments.

Gallery helps veterans explore their feelings through art

Artist and businesswoman Chris Frausto used to reside in Boulder City and owned an art gallery here. It was located on a corner, so it was not considered unusual when she named it the Corner Gallery.

Burns’ Vietnam documentary explores ‘truths’ about war

The Vietnam War. The conflict is burned into the minds of millions of Americans — those who fought in it, civilians who lived through the 1960s, historians, journalists, photographers and filmmakers.

Vets’ families find compassion at home away from home

When veterans and active-duty military personnel need help, it’s very common for other veterans and service people to step up to lend their collective hands. Providing assistance to their fellow brothers and sisters is ingrained in the hearts and minds of America’s military culture.

Ex-Tunnel Rat appreciates ‘penthouse’ lifestyle

Boulder City is currently the home of a veteran whose name is “Fearless.” When someone’s name is “Fearless” it could either be a satirical reference, or it could mean that it’s someone who is in reality a very tough individual. In the case of Fearless Fredy King, it’s the latter definition.

USO helps military as they travel, return to civilian life

The general public knows the combination of letters “USO.” Many even know the type of work the USO is involved in. But if one were to ask those individuals what the letters stand for, and where the organization is located in Southern Nevada, the answer might just involve a blank stare unless the person being questioned is involved with the local military or veterans community.

Teacher’s brush with fame included astronaut

Veteran John Glenn was known by most Americans and indeed was internationally famous. Most Americans also know that Glenn died in December at age 95.

Honor Flight offers awe-inspiring experience

Many individuals, especially those who follow issues concerning veterans, have more than likely heard of the Honor Flight Network. The mission of the group is to honor select veterans, especially those who served in World War II, by taking them on all-expense-paid excursions to Washington, D.C., to visit military memorials.

Nevada celebrates veterans’ achievements

Southern Nevada resident and former Army Sgt. Richard “Dick” L. Moyer was presented with a Bronze Star Medal with a “V” for valor this month for his heroic efforts during the Vietnam War.