Amid a statewide teacher shortage in Florida, a potential solution is proving controversial, The Gainesville Sun reported.
The Florida Department of Education recently announced that military veterans and spouses can receive a five-year certificate allowing them to teach without a teaching degree, a move tied to the $8.6 million Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced to expand career and workforce training opportunities for military veterans and spouses.
On Jun. 9, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that allowed military members – former and present – and spouses to teach, including reserve military members.
"There are many people who have gone through many hoops and hurdles to obtain a proper teaching certificate," said Carmen Ward, president of the Alachua County teacher's union. "[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."
Candidates must have a minimum 60 college credits with a 2.5 GPA, a passing score on the FLDOE subject area examination for bachelor’s level subjects, and a minimum 48 months of military service with honorable/medical discharge. If hired by a district, they must have a teaching mentor.