Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that a new program for veterans to become teachers in the State of Florida.
According to a Press Release, the Florida Department of Education will be “considering” a new rule to put the program into place. This is possible due to Senate Bill (SB) 896: ‘Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans' being signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.
SB 896 was passed unanimously in both the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida State Senate prior to Governor DeSantis signing the bill into law.
This program will help veterans to get a 5 year temporary teaching certificate if they meet the following criteria from the Florida State Board of Education:
Minimum of 48 months of military service with an honorable/medical discharge;
Minimum of 60 college credits with a 2.5 grade point average;
Passing score on a Florida subject area examination;
Employment in a Florida school district, including charter schools; and
Cleared background screening.
It’s worth noting that those who have not gotten a bachelor’s degree can qualify for the program, permitting they have the minimum 60 college credits and 2.5 grade point average (GPA).
Veterans who qualify for this program will have to get a Bachelor’s degree within 5 years of receiving their temporary certificate. A teaching mentor will be assigned to those who qualify for the program. The mentor-ship will last at least two years.
School Board Member-Elect Dr. Gene Posca MD (District 1) told Indian River News “SB 896 will be great for all Floridians. Having teachers who love their country and served to defend it contribute to our kids education is priceless. Additionally, school safety will be automatically bolstered having our veterans on any campus. I suspect we will be seeing a lot more school systems create guardian programs over the next 2-4yrs, which our service men and woman will be naturally drawn to participate in. This is also a great opportunity to help our veterans transition more smoothly out of service into the civilian life.”
Moms for Liberty Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin told Indian River News “Governor Ron DeSantis is making a wise choice with wanting to employ retired military for our schools. They have served our country and have amazing discipline and characteristics that children can benefit from as a teacher. With teacher shortages and the increase of retired military returning to the workforce our precious youth can highly benefit from this. I stand with Governor Ron DeSantis on this decision to help give our men and women who fought to keep our country free, the opportunity to educate the children in our State of Florida.”
Governor DeSantis said “Florida is the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation. 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.”
Governor DeSantis released a video discussing the new program. Click here to watch that video.
Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz said “Veterans and service-members can now work toward their full professional certificate while imparting their unique knowledge and valuable experience in the classroom.”
To learn more about the program, go to www.fldoe.org/veterans.
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