Gov. DeSantis looking to recruit veterans to teaching field
New rules from Ron DeSantis have teachers scrambling.

Key Speakers At Turning Point Student Action Summit
Veterans with at least four years of service and an honorable discharge can get a temporary teaching certificate.

First Uncle Sam wanted them to fight, now Governor Ron wants them to teach.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new law this year (SB 896) allowing U.S. military veterans to get a teaching certificate — valid for five years — before they finish their bachelor’s degree, a requirement to get a certificate.

Now, he’s setting up a website to aid veterans seeking a certificate.

“Florida is the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” DeSantis said in a released statement. “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 board of the Department of Education will meet Wednesday to approve a rule implementing the new program. To qualify, a veteran must have at least four years of military service with an honorable or medical discharge; have at least 60 college credits with a 2.5 grade point average; pass a state subject area exam and clear a background check. Florida public and charter schools will accept the temporary certificates.

The new law requires veterans who receive a temporary certificate to have a “teacher mentor” to monitor them for at least two years. The mentors must have their own valid certificate, at least three years of teaching experience in pre-K through 12th grade and have an “effective” or “highly effective” rating from the state’s performance evaluation.

The program is designed to allow veterans to get their certificate and into the classroom ahead of graduation, but they must graduate before the five-year certificate expires to receive a full valid teaching certificate.

“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,” Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said in a released statement. “Veterans and servicemembers can now work toward their full professional certificate while imparting their unique knowledge and valuable experience in the classroom.”

Florida has struggled to address chronic teaching shortages in recent years, and the new law is seen as one way to increase the number of permanent teachers in classrooms. DeSantis has pushed for and received funding increases from the Legislature to increase the minimum starting salary for teachers to $47,500, but the shortages persist.

Gray Rohrer


2 comments

  • Lynda

    August 11, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    With the low unemployment rate across the country, I am curious about the research done by deSantis and his administration before signing a bill to employ 5000 veterans as teachers. Are there enough veterans who want to teach in FL schools?

    I taught middle school in in the early 1970’s for a short time before leaving for a better paid career in business training and education. In my time not all teachers were competent in their subject matter or up-to-date on teaching skills. Teaching jobs in the 1970’s were not easy to find or secure; many teachers were routinely “laid off” every June and then called back if they were needed. Teachers were not paid well for the time they spent getting their degrees. Teacher shortages existed because few college students wanted to teach for the salaries and benefits offered.

    Governor deSantis seems to have been creative with approaching veterans to replace the 9,000 needed teachers who aren’t filling vacancies in FL schools.
    With recent anti-education and anti-teacher legislation signed by FL’s wanna-be president he might have looked at changing his legislation to help solve the teacher shortage in FL. A highly restrictive anti-abortion law might well be damaging to recruiting teachers as well.

  • Elliott Offen

    August 11, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    He probably thinks they will be more inclined to teach “patriotic education” as opposed to some of the more gruesome aspects of our history. Rosy representations of America are what holds us back.

Comments are closed.


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