TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Ahead of the back-to-school season and a statewide teacher shortage, Florida has passed new laws allowing military veterans to fill some of the classroom vacancies. of State.
As the number of vacancies fell from more than 5,000 to around 4,400 as of September 1, the Florida Department of Education is now reporting that nearly 400 positions have been filled by veterans through the new program. certification.
The Florida Board of Education approved the certification program for veterans at its August 17 meeting, allowing passage of Senate Bill 896 and allowing military veterans to apply for temporary teaching certification.
State data from the Day 1 Vacancy report, which details the exact number of open teaching positions in Florida, indicated that 5,208 vacancies had fallen to 4,442, with 766 positions having been filled since the start of the year. school.
As described by the state Board of Education, “the bill creates a new path for military veterans to obtain educator certification in Florida and removes the requirement for military reservists to document active duty for military dispensation”.
We now know that 392 of the vacancies were filled by military veterans certified to teach through the Florida Military Veterans Certification Pathway. The program came into effect on July 1. Qualified veterans who are still working toward their bachelor’s degree can apply for and receive a 5-year temporary teaching certificate to help fill vacancies in the K-12 school system.
“As of September 22, 392 veterans have applied to take advantage of the Military Veteran Certification Pathway,” a FDOE spokesperson told WFLA.com. “Applications for certification for this pathway are in the process of being reviewed like all other applications the Bureau of Educator Certification receives.”
Earlier, the FDOE told the WFLA that there were about 185,000 teachers in the state, making vacancies “about 2.4%” of all positions. Comparing school districts in Florida, the WFLA found that there were nearly 2,000 open teaching positions in the Tampa Bay area.
Most were in Hillsborough County, one of the largest school districts in the country.
The FDOE has previously said it will “continue to work diligently to meet Florida’s educational needs with an emphasis on proactive collaboration with superintendents on a case-by-case basis.” With nearly 400 positions filled by veterans through the certification program, it seems that the recruitment effort is fully engaged.
Vacancies for teachers and staff in each Florida county are listed below, as of September 1.
|County||Pre-kindergarten to 5th grade:||6th to 8th:||From 9 to 12:||Total:|
|Florida A&M University||4||1||0||5|
|Florida Atlantic University||0||0||0||0|
|Florida School for the Deaf and Blind||0||0||3||3|
|Florida State University||0||0||1||1|
|Florida Virtual School||0||0||9||9|
|Indian River County||ten||seven||ten||27|
|County of Leon||14||1||3||18|
|Miami Dade County||164||74||106||344|
|Palm Beach County||131||113||140||384|
|Santa Rosa County||42||11||15||73|
|St. Johns County||21||19||23||63|
|St. Lucia County||2||2||8||12|
|University of Florida||0||0||1||0|