Veterans can now teach in Florida with no degree. School leaders say it 'lowers the bar'

Morrison71

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A potential solution to a statewide teacher shortage issue has education leaders feeling as though Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration is undermining the qualifications of classroom instructors.

Last week, the Florida Department of Education announced that military veterans, as well as their spouses, would receive a five-year voucher that allows them to teach in the classroom despite not receiving a degree to do so. It's a move tied to the $8.6 million the state announced would be used to expand career and workforce training opportunities for military veterans and their spouses.
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"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 teachers 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."

On June 9, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that gave the approval for military members, both former and present, and their spouses to teach. Reserve military members count, as well.
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Teacher candidates must have a minimum of 60 college credits with a 2.5 GPA, and also must receive a passing score on the FLDOE subject area examination for bachelor's level subjects.

Veterans must have a minimum of 48 months of military service completed with honorable/medical discharge. If hired by a school district, they have to have a teaching mentor.
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Alachua County school board members expressed their distaste for the new law at a recent workshop where the details were presented.

Tina Certain said she feels like the bill lowers the bar for educators.

"It's not that I'm against the service that veterans provide to our country," she said. "I just think that to the education profession, we're lowering the bar on that and minimizing the criteria of what it takes to enter the profession."
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Certain also made clear that she doesn't want the district to push those teachers all to lower-performing schools on the east side of Gainesville.

Another school board member, Rob Hyatt, while expressing his frustration, appeared to be more optimistic.

"Unfortunately, we, like all other school districts, are experiencing a very real shortage," he said. "I think that this legislation is a reaction to the fact … I have confidence in our HR department to make the best out of this."
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The Alachua County public school district currently has more than 60 teaching vacancies. Since the law passed, no veterans or spouses have applied to the school district for a job, spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said.

"But if someone were to contact us expressing interest in the program, we would help them with the process for earning the state certification," Johnson said. "If they were successful, they would then be eligible to apply for a job with the district, as would anyone with a valid certification."
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Ward, however, feels it's the wrong approach to the issue, saying that more support and better pay would close the vacancies.

"There's an assumption that if you were a student, that you are also qualified to be a teacher," Ward said. "That's not necessarily the case and so it's just highly concerning because we've always had a high standard for educators in the public school system."
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SSG T

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I'm all for vets getting a bit of help in the job market. However, lowering requirements just to get them a position sure sounds a lot like what righties bitch and moan about when it comes to Combat Arms/Ranger/SEALs/etc.

And FTR, they should have to meet every requirement every other teacher does. To not do that lowers the educational possibilities for the kids. Of course, MAGA doesn't care about kids getting a "good" education, they only care about kids getting the white, errr, right education.
 

win4jj

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I'm all for vets getting a bit of help in the job market. However, lowering requirements just to get them a position sure sounds a lot like what righties bitch and moan about when it comes to Combat Arms/Ranger/SEALs/etc.

And FTR, they should have to meet every requirement every other teacher does. To not do that lowers the educational possibilities for the kids. Of course, MAGA doesn't care about kids getting a "good" education, they only care about kids getting the white, errr, right education.
Agree completely. My no pic wife works to employ veterans and others that are seeking to overcome barriers. Putting people in positions that they are not trained for or qualified for is probably setting them up for failure.
 

The Tradition

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As I understand this, they still have to pass the state certification exam. It's just that military service can substitute for the 60 credits of college education.

I learned valuable life skills and education during my military service AND my college experience.

Methinks the teachers union is crying wolf.
 
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B1GDeal

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Teacher shortages is a nationwide issue…

With all the Conservatives attacking teachers and schools I wonder why there is a shortage. It’s only going to get worse in the coming years after the recent and ongoing crusade against education.
 

SSG T

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More reasons than that for the shortage…

Pay, shitty kids you can’t discipline…..many reasons.

I've never heard any teacher complain about their pay or kids in general (specific kids, absolutely). Parents, no support from administrations, politicians making their jobs harder, school boards doing stupid stuff, no funding for classroom supplies, fighting to get good, updated materials, those are what I hear them complain about...a lot.
 

SWIowahawks

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Tabor
More reasons than that for the shortage…

Pay, shitty kids you can’t discipline…..many reasons.
Nope. It’s completely because of one party. Every issue in the country is because of one party.

As, to the law, I’d like to know what “have to have a teaching mentor” means. I’d assume you don’t just pass a test and get thrown into a class room.
 
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theiacowtipper

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As I understand this, they still have to pass the state certification exam. It's just that military service can substitute for the 60 credits of college education.

I learned valuable life skills and education during my military service AND my college experience.

Methinks the teachers union is crying wolf.
Being able to pass an exam does not mean you have the depth and width of education necessary to teach kids. Someone will do a prep course, you cram for the exam, pass and voila you’re a teacher. Meanwhile your knowledge base is a mile wide and an inch deep.

How does this not go against "picking winners". You know what conservatives are usually against?
 

The Tradition

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Being able to pass an exam does not mean you have the depth and width of education necessary to teach kids. Someone will do a prep course, you cram for the exam, pass and voila you’re a teacher. Meanwhile your knowledge base is a mile wide and an inch deep.

How does this not go against "picking winners". You know what conservatives are usually against?

The veterans are not taking jobs away from traditional teachers. The story says no veteran has even applied for the program since the law was passed. But let's act like the sky is falling anyway....
 
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Morrison71

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Why not the homeless? They could live in Quonset huts right on campus.
If the spouse of a veteran is homeless, they could teach as well. I am not sure if you guys picked up on it’s not just vets that can become teachers, it’s spouses of veterans as well.
 
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The Tradition

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This is about politics. Why let their spouses teach, they’re not veterans.

DeSantis wants to allow non-college grads and he wants them to be conservative.

Spouses sacrifice a lot to support their military husband or wife.

I thought liberals were woke that way?
 

stout1

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As, to the law, I’d like to know what “have to have a teaching mentor” means. I’d assume you don’t just pass a test and get thrown into a class room.

In many states even a new teacher that has gone through an accredited teacher education program requires a mentor. It is typically an experienced teacher in their subject area that meets with them regularly to discuss challenges they are having. Many schools also have sessions where all their new teachers and mentors meet periodically for larger group discussion/review.

My wife is mentoring a new teacher this year.
 

win4jj

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If the spouse of a veteran is homeless, they could teach as well. I am not sure if you guys picked up on it’s not just vets that can become teachers, it’s spouses of veterans as well.
I’m all for supporting veterans. I just don’t think this is the right way to go about it.
 
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B1GDeal

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More reasons than that for the shortage…

Pay, shitty kids you can’t discipline…..many reasons.
I agree that pay should be improved, as should their budgets and that oversight and discipline should be a priority to ensure classes are productive and structured. Those who don’t want to be there should be elsewhere. But, that requires attention and funding at younger ages and also in underserved areas to create learning environments.
 

Gonolz

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I would say the same thing with regard to taking a bunch of humanities courses.
Obviously depends on the level and subject. Humanities teachers aren’t teaching high school math or science.

Regardless, why then limit it to vets? If you don’t need subject-matter expertise, how about if you have had 4 years of good work history at Target or Publix? What’s the difference?
 

LuteHawk

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The teacher shortage in Florida will not be solved by
allowing unqualified veterans to teach. The teaching
profession requires a bachelor of arts degree or a
bachelor of science degree. The good teachers go on
to get a masters degree. This is sad situation in Florida.
 

The Tradition

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Obviously depends on the level and subject. Humanities teachers aren’t teaching high school math or science.

Regardless, why then limit it to vets? If you don’t need subject-matter expertise, how about if you have had 4 years of good work history at Target or Publix? What’s the difference?

I got a lot more training and education in the military than a grocery store worker does.

Hell, I spent nine weeks in California learning how to be a Yeoman.
 

nu2u

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There’s nothing special about military service that automatically qualifies one to teach in a classroom.
I have a feeling that a lot of vets who accept this challenge won't fully appreciate what they are taking on. I once accepted an offer to teach a paralegal class at a community college and was surprised how much time teaching consumed.

Lecture and assignment preparation, grading, and student interaction/counseling was a much bigger time commitment than I expected .....and that was a class of 18 adults at a private institution. I can only imagine the extra time and effort required to manage young kids in a public school setting where in addition to all of the above, you have to also deal with parents as well as school administrators.
 
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tarheelbybirth

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Agree completely. My no pic wife works to employ veterans and others that are seeking to overcome barriers. Putting people in positions that they are not trained for or qualified for is probably setting them up for failure.
About twenty percent of new teachers leave within the first five years (likely higher now). The rate for lateral entry is more than 50%. I’ve seen so many make the move to teach - especially in a slow job market- and leave after a year that I barely bother to learn their names now. You can tell just by talking to them that this is a filler gig until they find a “real” job. The same is true for those that come from private schools to public for the benefits. They never last long.
 

Tom Paris

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As I understand this, they still have to pass the state certification exam. It's just that military service can substitute for the 60 credits of college education.

I learned valuable life skills and education during my military service AND my college experience.

Methinks the teachers union is crying wolf.
Of course you do. Republicans. SMH.
 

Tom Paris

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Really? Never? Strange how we hear that teachers are under paid all the time. Is it everyone BUT teachers that say this?
No. We hear people on the right attacking what we do. Teachers don’t start threads on here bitching about pay. But every couple of weeks Republicans start or jump into threads bitching about us and telling us why we shouldn’t be paid more.