State Board of Education Adopts Amendments to Help Relieve Teacher Shortage
Florida - Thursday August 18, 2022: In yet another effort to relieve Florida's teacher shortage 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.
Governor DeSantis announced the move Wednesday at a news conference in Pensacola. He said the amendments will give veterans a path to obtain a temporary teaching certificate before receiving their bachelor’s degree and assist veterans in gaining college credit for military experience and coursework.
“These proposals and actions will create new avenues for veterans ... to excel and continue to serve their communities while building meaningful careers said the Governor. "We are able to make these important actions because we understand that having great teachers in our classrooms will help us develop great students.”
Rule changes made by the State Board of Education:
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.
For more information about Florida’s Military Veterans Certification Pathway, visit: https://www.fldoe.org/teaching/certification/military/.
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.
To view the Florida’s list of college credits and clock hours for equivalent military training and education, visit: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/View_Notice.asp?id=26084384.
On Tuesday in New Port Richey, the Governor announced other measures including a recruitment initiative targeted to bring retired first responders and retired veterans to the classroom through fee waivers and bonuses; an apprenticeship program that provides bonuses to teachers for mentoring aspiring teachers with an associate’s degree to gain hands-on teaching experience; and a scholarship program for K-12 teachers interested in teaching dual enrollment courses on high school campuses.
Bonuses for Retired Military Veterans and Retired First Responders
• Provides one-time bonuses to retired military veterans and retired first responders who commit to joining the teaching profession for two years as a full-time classroom teacher.
• Recipients would also be eligible for an additional bonus, beyond the initial signing bonus, if they teach in a Florida Department of Education identified critical teacher shortage.
• This initiative would also expand waiver of certification exam fees to all retired first responders.
About the Teacher Apprenticeship Temporary Certification Pathway
• Establishes an additional pathway to becoming an educator. It will be the 13th different teaching pathway offered in Florida.
• Applicants must have an associate’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution, a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, and a successful passage of a background check.
• Once receiving a temporary certificate, the apprentice will spend the first two years in the classroom of a mentor teacher using team teaching requirements to further develop pedagogy skills.
This component would fulfill the on-the-job training component of the apprenticeship and its associated standards, allowing individuals to earn a paycheck while working toward their bachelor’s
• Mentor teachers must have at least seven years of teaching experience and highly effective ratings on VAM scores or district performance reviews.
• These mentor teachers will be eligible for a bonus payable half after the first successful year of the apprenticeship and half after the second year.
About the Dual Enrollment Educator Scholarship Program
• Establishes opportunities for K-12 teachers to receive scholarship funds towards their master’s degree to cover the full cost of tuition and fees and includes a book stipend each semester.
• Once educators earn their master’s degree, they will be able to provide dual enrollment coursework directly to students on a high school campus, increasing the availability of access to dual enrollment in Florida’s high schools, particularly in low-moderate income and rural schools.
• Applicants must be accepted into, or currently enrolled in, an approved graduate program in a subject in their area of certification and complete their graduate degree within three years of the award.
“These three initiatives will build on our efforts to increase recruitment and retention of high quality teachers,” said the Governor. “We will be helping more teachers gain that critical firsthand experience and we will be recruiting first responders and veterans to continue their service in the classroom. Our students will greatly benefit from these programs.”
“Our number one educational priority is ensuring there is a high-quality teacher in every single Florida classroom,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “I have been holding roundtable meetings with teachers from across the state to learn more about steps we can take to improve our recruitment and retention efforts. Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, I look forward to implementing these new initiatives and more to further increase Florida’s reputation as the education state.”
For more information about Governor DeSantis’ teacher recruitment proposals, click here.