More than 250 Veterans Apply to Teach in Schools With Temporary Certificate

August 22, 2022 Updated 9:19 AM ET

vet cert pathway

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The Florida Department of Education received more than 250 applications from veterans wanting to teach in Florida public schools through a new certification pathway.

“I’m excited to see some of these qualified veterans in the classroom this year!” Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. said.

A new Florida law creates a pathway for qualified veterans to receive a five year temporary teaching certificate until they receive a college degree.

The criteria for veterans to receive a temporary teaching certificate includes:
– Serving four years in Military with honorable discharge
– Having at least 60 college credits
– 2.5 GPA
– Passing a subject area examination

DeSantis Calls on Veterans to Apply for Temporary Teaching Certificates: ‘Most Veteran and Military Friendly State’

“Florida is the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” DeSantis said. “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.”

Florida Republicans and Democrats passed the legislation unanimously in the previous regular legislative session in an effort to recruit more teachers. However, a teachers’ union in south Florida opposes the plan as well as Democrat candidate for governor Nikki Fried.

Nikki Fried Says Recruiting Vets to Teach Florida Students is ‘DeSantis’ War on Public Education’

“Let me be clear: we should not be lowering the bar for teachers in Florida,” Fried said. “Instead of paying teachers what they’re worth and agreeing to stop politicizing their jobs, DeSantis is trying to let Floridians with no experience and minimal training teach our kids.”

The new plan for veterans to teach did receive accolades from Biden’s Education Secretary in a CNN interview.

BRIANNA KEILAR: “Is that insufficient? Or do you think this is a creative look and worth a look?”

SECRETARY CARDONA: “I don’t have the details of the Florida program specifically. I love anything that’s going to provide opportunities for those who are looking into the teaching profession, ensuring that they’re connected to good teacher preparation programs that teach pedagogy and ensuring that the educators have the skills needed to meet the needs of our students.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis also proposed a slew of other recommendations for lawmakers to pass in an effort to recruit teachers.

DeSantis Proposes First Responder Bonuses, Mentorship Programs, and Scholarships to Help Recruit Teachers

Florida reportedly has 9,500 school vacancies that need to be filled for this school year. However, Commissioner Diaz said the number is incorrect and includes other vacancies listed for support personnel.

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