Being a state where a sizeable veteran population resides, Florida works hard to provide for former service members. Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced a five-year temporary teaching certificate program for veterans finishing their bachelor's degree.
The program comes out of SB 896, which passed unanimously in the Florida House and Senate with bipartisan support. DeSantis signed the bill into law in June, and will formally go into effect on August 17th. There are five major qualifications the program requires from its veteran applicants. The first is a minimum 4 years of military service with an honorable or medical discharge.
Secondly, there is a requirement of 60 college credits already attained at a 2.5 GPA. Third, veterans need a passing score on a Florida subject examination. Fourth, current employment in a Florida school district, which includes charter schools. Finally, veterans must pass a background screening and complete their bachelor's degree within the five-year period.
Other details outlined in the press release include the provision of a two-year mentorship to those veterans who qualify. Additionally, the certificate is strictly temporary and cannot be renewed upon expiration. Moreover, military spouses or families do not apply, and veterans cannot teach subjects requiring a Master's degree through this program.
Nonetheless, DeSantis says this program "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.”
Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. similarly adds that “veterans and service members can now work toward their full professional certificate while imparting their unique knowledge and valuable experience in the classroom.”
Early Thursday afternoon, DeSantis released a tweet with an accompanying video describing the program.
In Florida, we believe veterans have a wealth of knowledge and experience they can bring to the classroom, so we created a new program to help veterans become teachers.
We stand by our veterans and want them in our classrooms. pic.twitter.com/PlDIb3lz8w
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 11, 2022
"In Florida, we believe veterans have a wealth of knowledge and experience they can bring to the classroom, so we created a new program to help veterans become teachers. We stand by our veterans and want them in our classrooms," stated Gov. DeSantis