Send in the Marines: Ron DeSantis defends ex-military teachers over education majors
Image via AP

DeSantis-41-780x470
'I'll take the Marine every day of the week and twice on Sunday.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is vowing to “keep plowing forward” with plans to allow military veterans to teach in Florida classrooms, suggesting Wednesday that vets may be better suited to teaching than an education major.

“You give me somebody who has four years of experience as a Devil Dog over somebody who has four years of experience at Shoehorn U and I will take the Marine every day of the week and twice on Sunday,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Brevard County.

DeSantis made the comments defending a Senate bill last year that allowed for an alternative pathway to teaching certification for military veterans, a measure that cleared the House and Senate unanimously.

The bill allows for a five-year waiver from traditional certification requirements for teachers with military experience.

Part of the need for such a bill, the Governor said, was a demand for more “talent” in schools.

“Another thing we did is we said, ‘OK, how can we get more talent into our school system?’ So we did a bill this past year that said if you have completed four years of active duty military and you have, I think, 60 hours of college coursework, you’re eligible. If you had a 2.5 GPA and passed whatever the tests are to pass, you get temporary certification.”

“You can work toward your degree,” DeSantis added. “But you can go in and contribute.”

The Governor then turned his fire on critics of the new law.

“You’ve got some people in the media or whatever who are criticizing this. You had the head of the teachers’ union in Sarasota criticize it, saying, ‘You can’t just throw any warm body into the classroom,” DeSantis said.

“Well, I’ll tell you something: people who have served our country are not just some ‘warm body.’ They have a lot to offer our communities.”

The bill analysis suggested the pathway to certification could fill the persistent need for more teachers in Florida classrooms.

“The potential availability of additional educators, especially as Florida faces a teacher shortage in certain regions and in specific instructional subject matters could provide district school board(s) with enhanced options and expanded personnel choices.”

“Experienced military leaders who have mentored and educated military service members for years may have skills and experiences that can translate easily to the classroom and would be a ready-made workforce for Florida’s public and charter schools and could address short and long-term workforce needs,” asserted the post-meeting analysis from the final Senate committee of reference for the bill.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


46 comments

  • Well then

    August 3, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    What are they going to teach? How to spend multiple tours in a country your eventually going to leave like you did? Lol

    Reply

    • fm

      August 3, 2022 at 8:53 pm

      you’re

      Reply

    • Fouk Dems

      August 4, 2022 at 9:51 am

      Let’s Go Brandon!

      Reply

    • Mark Kiefer

      August 4, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      I’m a 30 year veteran and I would start with English. Proofread before you made ignorant comments. You should have used you’re, in lieu of your to make your point. You’re welcome.

      Reply

      • ActualPatriot

        August 4, 2022 at 1:48 pm

        Your middle sentence should have said “before you make” so that it’s in accordance with the rest of your sentences in that comment. I’m surprised you didn’t learn that in your 30-year career.

        Reply

      • Josh B

        August 4, 2022 at 4:27 pm

        No, veterans are incredibly unqualified for this. This is by far the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. A marine is not going to be able to successfully teach kids algebra or calculus. A better approach would be to bring in retired engineers, economists, or other STEM experts. Better yet, toss the entire factory classroom system and adopt something that is actually proven, like the German system.

        Reply

    • JOhn Doe

      August 5, 2022 at 7:04 pm

      “you’re”

      Reply

  • Dan

    August 3, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Almost 10,000 unfilled positions in our schools because of this man’s terrible education policies and constant baseless attacks on teachers. Florida used to have a public education system to rival the nation, now it sits almost dead last after 20 years of Republican Rule decimating our education system and culminating in this absolutely incompetent irresponsible governor. Now its so bad he has to beg completely unqualified people to become teachers just to fill in the gaping holes he’s caused. This man is a disaster along with the useless GOP legislature that is pointless, its just an arm of his office. And passing bills forcing teachers to erase black and gag kids from the schools? Forcing teachers to reveal their political beliefs? All he wants is our schools set up like indoctrination camps to churn out future white supremacists.

    Reply

    • Pat Pickren

      August 3, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      Right you are, Dan. What Republicans are trying to do is set up for-profit charter schools that suck up tax money from public schools so that eventually only the elite will be able to get an education and the Christian religion can be taught in schools by force, imo. Any veteran should run away as fast as they can when any Republican says they have a great deal for them. Republicans all voted against the burn pit benefits for vets until they were shamed into changing their votes by Jon Stewart and the public media. Wish Florida voters would wake the hell up.

      Reply

      • Bill Staples

        August 5, 2022 at 5:30 pm

        Yes…dead on…hell yes to everything that Pat said here.

        Reply

    • John Doe

      August 3, 2022 at 2:16 pm

      Yer a shill for the Pubelick Edgumakation crowd. Leftists have ruined education, period, in this country. You can’t discipline the children. ESPECIALLY you can’t discipline the black and brown children, you raaaaacist! Teaching real English is out, das raaaaacist too! Logic, science and math? Forgetaboutit! But we do teach the kids to make up their pronouns and that being a sexual pervert is cool, and killing babies is their right. Thanks to people like Dan.

      Reply

      • Forest Gump, teacher

        August 3, 2022 at 2:56 pm

        For many years there has been a policy of preferential hiring of QUALIFIED and/or CERTIFIED veterans, all having a four year degree.
        This is affirmative action on steroids!!! If our state was low in performance before, how will these untrained “teachers” improve the system? Is a warm, uniformed body the answer or is this jus an unconscionable act by someone planning to run for a higher office and win the votes at any cost?

        Reply

      • Joe Corsin

        August 3, 2022 at 3:44 pm

        John Doe = neo nazi propagandist… possible terrorist… report to FBI.

        Reply

      • Frankie M.

        August 3, 2022 at 3:49 pm

        Just another attempt to undermine public education. After seeing how DeSantis talks about teachers in this state how many veterans would honestly take him up on this offer? We have pilot and nurse shortages but we don’t throw unqualified people into those jobs do we?

        Reply

      • Frankie M.

        August 3, 2022 at 3:50 pm

        Hey I resemble those remarks.

        Reply

      • The.Truth.Comes.Out.In.The.End

        August 3, 2022 at 8:32 pm

        I didn’t realize Jeb Bush was a leftist…

        Reply

      • Mom teacher

        August 4, 2022 at 3:48 am

        What right wing education is there for us to ruin? Since your all homeschooled lol

        Reply

        • You Moron

          August 5, 2022 at 7:10 pm

          “you’re”

          Reply

      • Rosie

        August 5, 2022 at 7:28 am

        A talking point calling a talking point a talking point. Wow John Doe, you’ve really opened my eyes to reality.

        Reply

    • GailC

      August 3, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      I agree with you. Can’t wait to vote him out!

      Reply

    • Cam

      August 3, 2022 at 10:19 pm

      You sound like an innate number which also means you are a treasonist. Go f*** yourself

      Reply

    • Tom Schmidt

      August 5, 2022 at 1:51 pm

      Think harder. US education began to be deconstructed in the 60’s when affirmative action, then desegregation piled a horde of semi – educated and uncertified “teachers” into the schools.
      The result, generations later, is the chaos and failure you are seeing today.

      Reply

      • Wils2021

        August 5, 2022 at 7:40 pm

        Republicans defame public schools, take money from private schools, and funnel taxpayer funds to private schools. It is a symbiotic relationship.

        Reply

  • Just a comment

    August 3, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Devil dog’s I guess they will teach physics

    Reply

  • Don’t Look Up 🤡🚌

    August 3, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Most Marines do not have college degrees. DeSantis understands why we’ll over 9000 Florida educators have left the profession.

    We can assume that when Florida voters throw DeSantis under the Republican Clown Bus in November…… like every prior Republican…. he’ll leave this hiring disaster up to the next Democrat.

    Democrats have been tasked with cleaning up incompetent big mouth Republican messes for decades. Typically Republicans sit on the sidelines complaining that Democrats can’t clean up the mess created by Republicans fast enough.

    Reply

  • Lynda

    August 3, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Well, I guess deSantis just answered the question whether or not FL classroom teachers should be armed in case a mass shooter pops up at a school. AR-15’s could now be issued to teachers instead of small handguns so no need to ban assault weapons; teachers would have equal firepower to mass shooters.

    The long guns would be hard to hide in a desk. Instead each classroom would have a glass front cabinet holding an AR-15 hanging in every classroom. Like a fire alarm the cabinet could be labeled “Break glass for gun.”

    So much money to be made from “no-bid” contracts to supply loaded guns, cabinets and tools to break glass to grab AR-15’s. I am certain deSantis wants to pass this solution for “safer” schools to his buddy Abbott in TX.

    Just don’t provide these “made for mass murders and military actions only” weapons to your private Election army, Governor.

    Reply

  • Joe Corsin

    August 3, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Vote RED for far right propaganda
    Vote RED for religious law and religious courts
    Vote RED for religious police and death penalty for jaywalking
    Vote RED for forced birth of meth babies and crack babies
    Vote RED for fascist curriculum

    Reply

  • MaryA

    August 3, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    This is just sad. I teach primary students. Are you trying to tell me a veteran without any training can teach our youngest students to read? Most students need direct phonics instruction and be taught reading strategies to learn. Also this article does not mention the part they are allowing spouses of veterans to teach!! I value you our veterans and believe they could teach at High school level ROTC or subjects with military knowledge. Very disappointed in Florida

    Reply

    • Navy Vet

      August 3, 2022 at 8:00 pm

      The reason why it doesn’t say that the spouse can, is because they can’t.

      Reply

      • Bad Policy

        August 4, 2022 at 6:37 am

        Every item I have read regarding this policy includes spouses. No additional hurdles for spouses, who have never served themselves.

        Reply

        • Wendy

          August 4, 2022 at 10:08 am

          It’s very misleading how it’s written, but as of now it’s only the fees that are waived for spouses, not the education requirements. On the other hand, it also looks like there’s a lot of wiggle room and “mays” in the law. It’s an awful idea nonetheless. When I read a couple weeks ago that Arizona had passed a law dropping the requirement to have a college degree to teach I said, oh Florida will be next, not realizing we led the way with this.

          Reply

        • just sayin

          August 4, 2022 at 12:24 pm

          Have you tried reading the actual law? JFC.

          Reply

        • just sayin

          August 4, 2022 at 12:26 pm

          If you read the law, you will find that’s not true. An intellectually curious person would then reflect on why their trusted news sources misled them, and then maybe ponder if there’s anything else that they might be misleading about.

          Reply

  • Just a comment

    August 3, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    I do not think shortage I think 45 thousand children moving to Florida once every month

    Reply

    • Smarticus

      August 4, 2022 at 1:26 pm

      45,000 children moving in monthly? Yet the state only had a total population increase of 210,000 in the last 12 months. I realize math must be difficult for you, but come on! It’s low wages and constant belittling of the profession that’s forcing teachers to leave the profession in droves. Florida teachers don’t teach CRT or groom kids to be gay, yet this governor continues to push this narrative.

      Reply

  • Fringe Dweller

    August 3, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    When a clown controls the kingdom, he doesn’t become a king, the kingdom becomes a circus.

    Reply

  • TJ

    August 3, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    If this isn’t another example of how much this idiot hates educators, I don’t know what else terrible he would need to do.
    My son is in the Air Force and I know many vets and there is no way any would be better suited to teach than an education major. They would say that as well. You can’t wait 5 years for them to get education certified.

    Reply

  • Maxine Sue

    August 4, 2022 at 11:37 am

    DeSantis is Trump on steroids. He’s always right; his critics always are wrong; he sees himself as the leader – or should I say, Supreme Leader – of the MAGA base. No regard whatseover – in fact, blatant disdain – for anyone who disagrees with him. He is a clear and resent danger to everything I hold dear as an American.

    Reply

  • Lex Taylor

    August 4, 2022 at 11:37 am

    You do realize that we already have paths for teachers to begin teaching without a teaching degree. Those teachers are allowed to teach provisionally once they meet minimum requirements, and they take classes during the summers to get further training to teach. This is just one more path and not something scary.

    Reply

  • ActualPatriot

    August 4, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    DeSantis obvious next move is to pull military veterans with no medical background to replace physicians in hospitals in Florida rural areas.
    Trumptards will be so proud

    Reply

  • Carol Vittoria

    August 4, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Florida has always had the reputation of having the lowest school standards and highest amount of illiteracy! Thank God for Every Veteran that has served our country but many of these people are uneducated and enlisted because they quit high school, couldn’t get a job, had horrible home lives or were avoiding prison. That being said, we are thankful for their service, but without proper training and education they are not qualified to teach academics to our children! It seems like money and politics take priority over the safety and well being of our kids in this country. After all, keeping assault rifles on the streets instead of avoiding thirteen kids killed in a minute brings in the votes and getting unqualified people, but giving jobs to vets is going to hit a home run at the poles! Don’t worry about the KIDS, some of them will survive and become politicians, veterans(hopefully) or they’ll go through life wondering WHY their safety and education meant Nothing to the people that had the ability to help them in the State of Florida.

    Reply

  • MoneyOverEverything?

    August 5, 2022 at 5:23 am

    Literally not one mention of subject-area knowledge. It doesn’t matter how well they served their country as soldiers–when the kids figure out they don’t know what they’re talking about, they are going to eat these folks alive.

    DeathSantis himself wouldn’t survive a week in front of a bunch of 17-year-olds who know more than he does. He’d wish he was back at Parris island!

    Reply

  • clickyclickybangbang

    August 5, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    What wonderful potential for disaster, take a room full of kids giving the teacher attitude, have said teacher stressed out and suffering PTSD, throw in “we should arm the teachers,” yeah, nothing could go wrong. Mind you at least the school shooter wouldn’t have far to go.

    Reply

  • Bitch

    August 6, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    DeSantis is a fucking moron.

    Reply

  • chelany

    August 7, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Homeschoolers are teaching. . Are they qualified to teach just because they are parents. Some but not all
    Has been my experience. I’m sure the marines would have proper guides and guidelines just like home schoolers do. Don’t think the program should be limited to marines however. Uncertified substitutes can teach in many states. Why is that if certificationso important. I’m a former teacher and know many certified but incompetent teachers. Don’t neccesarily believe marines are the solution but yes there are other ways to fulfill a need for teachers in Florida and elsewhere

    Reply

  • Just a comment

    August 7, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Ithe way the viciously treated the Floridian teachers I can see smart assing santis

    Reply

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