Veterans without degrees to be allowed to teach children in Florida
July 28, 2022

Florida’s Department of Education announced last week that military veterans without teaching degrees will be allowed to fill the 9,000 teaching vacancies that remain open as their schools approach the end of summer.

Florida Education Association president, Andrew Spar said, “Our public schools are really at a crisis level seeing this massive number of vacancies. In 2010, there were 8,000 graduates from Florida’s colleges and universities becoming teachers. That number was between 2,000 and 3,000 for the year that just ended. That’s a significant drop-off.”

Under the program, Florida veterans will receive a five-year voucher which waives the typical teaching credentials required to teach public school students.

Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statement in which he said, “We owe the freedoms we enjoy as Americans to our military veterans, and I am focused on ensuring Florida is the best state in the nation for those who have served to find great jobs, start or grow businesses and support their families. Business is booming in Florida, and employers are looking for the leadership skills, training and teamwork military veterans bring to the workforce.”

This initiative is part of an $8.6 million program to provide meaningful employment to military veterans and dependents.

The Florida Department of Education will still require veterans to posses a minimum of 60 credit hours from an accredited college with an average GPA of 2.5.  Additionally, veterans must also pass a bachelors level proficiency examination in whatever subject they intend to teach. They must also have served a minimum of four years with an honorable or medical discharge.

Veterans teaching through this initiative will be supervised by a classroom monitor.

In spite of the state’s desperate need to fill teaching vacancies immediately, many current teachers and local teaching unions worry that this move will undermine Florida’s requirements for educators and compromise the state’s standards for curriculum.

Sarasota County Teachers Association president, Barry Dubin said, “You can’t just throw a warm body in a classroom, that’s not the answer.”

Alachua County teachers union president, Carmen Ward warned, “There are many people who have gone through many hoops and hurdles to obtain a proper teaching certificate. [Educators] are very dismayed that now someone with just a high school education can pass the test and can easily get a five-year temporary certificate.”


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