Joe Henderson: The idea of turning to former military members as teachers has merit
New rules from Ron DeSantis have teachers scrambling.

Key Speakers At Turning Point Student Action Summit
DeSantis' idea about allowing former military members to become teachers is reasonable.

All right, my teacher friends.

You know I support you and believe you perform a noble and vital service to Florida. Inhale deeply, let it out slowly, and try not to overreact after reading the next sentence.

Here goes: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ idea to allow military veterans who lack a four-year teaching degree a pathway to the classroom has merit.

Yes, I said that.

Of course, DeSantis can’t say good morning without throwing a sharp elbow, which is what he did on Wednesday with his trademark snark.

“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.

The Governor’s shot was demeaning and insulting to many current teachers who studied damn hard at schools like the University of South Florida to earn a four-year degree. But that’s the DeSantis way of doing things, so let’s stay focused and waste no more time on that cheap remark.

Back on point, Florida schools welcome back students over the next week, and administrators are scrambling to fill thousands of teaching jobs. A military veteran, in theory, has the discipline and demeanor to be successful in the classroom.

However, that veteran also would have to complete certain subject area tests and other requirements to receive final certification.

Under a pending Senate bill, they would have five years to do that.

That seems reasonable to me.

One of my best teachers back in the day was an ex-military man who taught history and supported Barry Goldwater. I looked forward to Mr. Turkelson’s class every day because he was thought-provoking and made history come alive.

In the meantime, look at those “Shoehorn U” schools DeSantis mocked.

There was a 35% decline nationwide in the number of students majoring in education. That’s probably because they see the junk coming from lawmakers about public schools.

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people keep moving to Florida and bringing their kids.

So, DeSantis was right when he asked, “OK, how can we get more talent into our school system?”

It’s a good question and a problem that will take years, if not decades, to solve.

Turning to former military members could be a good piece of the puzzle.

Couldn’t we just leave it at that?

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


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  • Tom

    August 3, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Joe, you are all over the place.
    Last week, you were critical of Ron and education. Now you support the Govs new idea. Now u support bringing in veteran marines
    Geez, who are you.


    • Joe Biden

      August 3, 2022 at 9:28 pm

      ^ Vote RED for forced birth of meth babies and crack babies like this guy


  • Elliott Offen

    August 3, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    They think veterans are more likely to fall in line with whatever the GOP doctor orders as far as not teaching certain uncomfortable realities about America. Beware!


  • Richard Paula

    August 3, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    I distrust DeSantis motives. Since when has become an educator ? He is aggressive and he would have much of that aggression pass on to young people of an impressionable age. Gung Ho to replace time tested educational processes


  • Tom

    August 3, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    How ignorant can all 3 of you be, I mean my goodness. Joe Henderson even has found the light, after defending the status quo of education last week. Fake moniker Biden, idiot elliot, Richard.


    • Joe Corsin

      August 3, 2022 at 10:52 pm

      ^ Voted for Trump…got conned out of his socks by greasy New York billionaire. Got shaken down by snake oil salesmen carpet bagger…


      • Tom

        August 3, 2022 at 11:09 pm



        • Joe Corsin

          August 4, 2022 at 6:31 am

          Agree…anyone who voted for that idiot was retarded.


  • Kim

    August 4, 2022 at 12:41 am

    Training soldiers is significantly different from teaching children. Its a bad idea to allow less qualified people teaching our kids.


  • Ocean Joe

    August 4, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Why do we have a teacher shortage in the first place?
    Could our governor have something to do with that? I know he’s perfect, but it looks like actions have consequences.
    Where he usually invents a fake problem to rail against, here he actually created a real problem.


    • Tom

      August 6, 2022 at 7:35 pm

      We have job vacancies, shortages everywhere. Dems paid everyone $120,000 with kids to stay home.

      You pathetic Manchurians destroyed society. Crime, theft, and murder.
      Great job.

      How clueless are you Soros Manchurians.


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