TAMPA, Fla. — Amid statewide teacher shortages, Gov. Ron DeSantis is looking to recruit military veterans for the classroom.
Earlier this year, the governor signed SB 896, which allows the Department of Education to issue temporary teaching certificates to specified military servicemembers who meet certain criteria.
Under the Military Veterans Certification Pathway program, veterans would be able to receive a five-year temporary education certificate while they finish their bachelor’s degree if they meet the following requirements:
- 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
- A cleared background screening
Approved veterans would be assigned a mentor teacher for a minimum of two years to support them.
But, the program isn't official yet — the State Board of Education is considering the rule's implementation on Aug. 17.
“Florida is the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.”
The governor's push comes as Tampa Bay area students head back to school with hundreds of teaching, administrative and bus driving positions still vacant.