Washington (CNN) — Which schools got the best return on investment from the Defense Department’s $1.2 trillion Education Reform Act?
In a report released on Wednesday, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said they believe education is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, while noting the Pentagon spends billions of dollars each year to train teachers and support students.
The bipartisan report, authored by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called on the Pentagon to devote more resources to helping teachers and students, particularly in the face of rising costs, and to “ensure that the Government does not take advantage of its education system to pursue private interests at the expense of the public good.”
The report comes just days after President Donald Trump issued a directive that all schools be required to serve at least one day of instruction for every student in a full-day or full-month high school.
The White House has yet to make the directive official.
But despite the growing importance of education, the lawmakers said the Pentagon is “not spending enough” on education.
In particular, they said, the Pentagon needs to invest more in teachers and provide more support to teachers, and improve student achievement and graduation rates.
The Pentagon spends nearly $3 trillion each year on education, with the Department of Education alone spending more than $2 trillion annually on its education programs, the report said.
While some schools get great returns on investment, the group of lawmakers noted that teachers are “underpaid and under-trained.”
They said the majority of teachers who are trained for the new job are low-paid and overworked, and that the military system lacks a plan to provide them with the necessary skills.
In the end, the military is “using its resources to train people who are not going to be able to get the training that they need,” the report stated.
The lawmakers urged the Pentagon “to support our schools and teachers by increasing the availability of additional education professionals to provide the training and support they need.”
The Pentagon has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
The Pentagon’s Education Reform program is aimed at giving every student access to a high-quality education.
The law also includes a new requirement that every school be required by law to provide students with at least 15 hours of instruction a day.
The legislation requires the Pentagon, in cooperation with states, to allocate at least $2 billion annually to the Education Reform programs.
The program has received a total of $1,764 billion so far.