- The Florida government on Thursday launched a new website that serves to recruit military veterans to work as teachers in the state’s public and charter school classrooms
- Senate Bill 869 was signed earlier this year, granting veterans the right to obtain temporary teaching certificates under certain guidelines so long as requirements are met
- Those who obtain a temporary license must be monitored for at least two years by a more experienced education professional.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced the launch of a new webpage to help recruit qualified military veterans to join schools across the state. The governor is turning to Florida’s many military veterans in an attempt to bring more teachers into classrooms.
In August, the Florida Board of Education will consider a rule to formally implement a program for veterans to receive a five-year temporary education certificate while they finish their bachelor’s degree, provided they meet certain criteria. This rule implements SB 896, which DeSantis signed earlier this year after it received unanimous bipartisan support throughout the 2022 Session
“Florida is the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” said DeSantis. “We also know that our veterans have talents and skills that they can offer our students. This new opportunity expands Florida’s existing programs that help our veterans take their talents to our schools, and it will help Florida remain a national leader in education.”
The criteria former servicemembers must meet in order to obtain a teaching license is a minimum of 48 months of military service with an honorable or medical discharge, a minimum of 60 college credits with a 2.5-grade point average, passing scores on a Florida subject area teaching examination, employment in a Florida school district, including charter schools, and a clean background screening.
“With the skills and experience that our 1.7 million veterans bring to Florida’s workforce, this new pathway to teaching will positively impact Florida’s students,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Veterans and servicemembers can now work toward their full professional certificate while imparting their unique knowledge and valuable experience in the classroom.”
According to the new law that grants veterans the ability to teach, those who earn a temporary certificate must be monitored for at least two years by a more experienced education professional. The supervisor is required to possess a current teaching certificate, have at least three years of experience in classrooms, and receive the state’s top performance review marks.
The law was signed in an attempt to mitigate Florida’s shortage of teachers ahead of the new school year. As the new academic school year is underway in Florida’s public schools, experts estimate approximately 10,000 vacancies in classrooms.
“Obviously, not only the state of Florida but the entire nation and really the world, we’re facing a teacher shortage. And it’s only increasing with what we’ve seen in the employment world with COVID,” Diaz said during a panel discussion hosted by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations last month, as reported by News Service of Florida.