Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted proposals for the 2023 Legislative Session that will help support and grow Florida’s teaching workforce and leverage the talents of Florida’s retired veterans and first responders.
DeSantis also announced that today the State Board of Education will adopt military-friendly amendments to the Florida Administrative Code that increase educational and employment opportunities for veterans and active servicemembers. These actions solidify the pathway for veterans to obtain a temporary teaching certificate before receiving their bachelor’s degree and assist veterans in gaining college credit for military experience and coursework.
“In Florida, we are leading by example with innovative teacher recruitment initiatives and in our support of military and veteran families,” said DeSantis. “These proposals and actions will create new avenues for veterans, first responders and aspiring teachers to excel and continue to serve their communities while building meaningful careers. We are able to make these important actions because we understand that having great teachers in our classrooms will help us develop great students.”
“Today’s changes reaffirm Governor DeSantis’ commitment to supporting Florida’s military heroes,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz. “We are proud to have qualified and knowledgeable veterans in the classroom, which will increase the value of a student’s education.”
“The Board voted unanimously to help kids learn from the real world experience of Florida’s veterans and servicemembers, while our veterans also grow and pursue postsecondary opportunities and careers in education,” said State Board of Education Chair Tom Grady. “These measures put more teachers in the classroom so students can immediately benefit from service members’ unique knowledge and experience. At the same time, these very diverse veterans and servicemembers will model for kids the benefit of learning, including obtaining college degrees later in life. This is a terrific step forward for kids, veterans and servicemembers, all of whom deserve our support in the free state of Florida.”
“As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, I’ve seen firsthand the valuable skills and experience our servicemembers acquire during their time in the military,” said State Board of Education Member Esther Byrd. “The Military Veterans Certification Pathway will help build on Florida’s teacher recruitment efforts and attract those who have spent their lives serving our nation. In the end, our students, education system and veterans will all benefit tremendously.”
The rule changes made by the State Board of Education include:
Military Veterans Certification Pathway
The State Board of Education amended Rules 6A-4.0012; 6A-4.002; and 6A-4.004 to implement Senate Bill 896 (2022), allowing military veterans to obtain a 5-year temporary teaching certificate without a bachelor’s degree, providing the following criteria are met:
• Minimum of 48 months of military service with an honorable/medical discharge;
• Minimum of 60 college credits;
• Passing score on a Florida subject area examination;
• Employment in a Florida school district, including charter schools; and
• Cleared background screening.
Veterans who successfully obtain their 5-year temporary teaching certificate will be assigned a classroom mentor for a minimum of two years. They must also earn their bachelor’s degree during the 5-year period and may not teach subject areas that require a Master’s Degree. The temporary certificate cannot be renewed once it expires, nor does it apply to military spouses or families.
Articulation Between and Among Universities, Florida Colleges and School Districts
The State Board of Education amended Rule 6A-10.024 to expand opportunities for veterans and military servicemembers to be awarded postsecondary credit for equivalent training and education acquired in the military. The Board implemented a specific list of college credits and clock hours that will now be guaranteed to former and current military members beginning in the 2022-23 academic year at any Florida state college, university or district technical center.
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