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Program brings veterans into classrooms

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Qualifying military veterans are able to receive temporary teaching certificates under a new State Board of Education rule proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The State Board of Education will consider the rule on Aug. 17.

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DeSantis introduced the rule in an Aug. 11 Twitter posting. “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,” DeSantis posted in the Tweet. “We stand by our veterans and want them in our classrooms.”

The rule implements SB 896, the Military Veterans Certification Pathway which authorized the Department of Education to issue temporary teaching certificates to qualifying military service members. Under the measure veterans who qualify may teach grades 6 through 12 for a period of five years under the mentorship of a certified teacher. Veterans who qualify to be assigned a teacher mentor during the time that they teach.
DeSantis signed SB 896 into law on June 9.

In order to qualify, military veterans must have a minimum of 48 months of military service, and have earned an honorable or medical discharge.
They must have a minimum of 60 college credits and must have maintained a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) during their college careers.

In addition, they must achieve a passing score on a Florida subject area examination, and be cleared in a background screening.
They will be employed in a Florida school district, including charter schools, but may not teach a subject that requires a master’s degree.
Those who want to pursue a career in teaching must earn a bachelor’s degree within the 5-year temporary certification period in order to be eligible for a full, professional certificate. That temporary certificate cannot be renewed once it expires, and participation in the program does not apply to military spouses or families.

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To learn more about the program visit www.fldoe.org/veterans.

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