The Florida Legislature passed and Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law a program that allows military veterans to become teachers while they are completing their bachelor’s degrees.
Employing veterans has the added benefit of most of them having already qualified with a firearm. We certainly did in the Army, and according to Military.com, all the branches do, save the Coast Guard.
In 2018, Florida passed a law giving school districts the option to arm teachers following the high school shooting in Parkland.
According to the Florida Department of Education, 45 of the state’s 67 counties participate in the Guardian Program. Now, more districts will have teachers likely more inclined to join the program.
The Sunshine State’s new path for veterans to more quickly become teachers opened up on July 1.
It allows those working toward their bachelor’s degree to receive a five-year temporary professional certificate, The Gainesville Sun reported.
To qualify, veterans must have at least 48 months of active-duty military service with an honorable or medical discharge.
Further, they need 60 college credit hours with a 2.5 grade point average. In other words, they have to be about halfway through their college undergraduate degree.
Do you think other states should implement programs like this?
Those applying must also pass a Florida subject area examination demonstrating proficiency at a bachelor’s level and be employed by a Florida school district or charter school.
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz told Fox News on Friday that 83 veterans had submitted applications for the program to date.
“This is a great pathway for us to be able to have our veterans, in this veteran-friendly state, to step up to the plate,” he said, referring to the need for more teachers.
Florida has been at the cutting edge of issues related to education.
In March, DeSantis banned the teaching of critical race theory in Florida’s K-12 classrooms.
“Florida’s civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories,” he said at the time.
“Let me be clear: There’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money,” he added.
Gov. @RonDeSantisFL announces Florida’s curriculum will “expressly exclude…Critical Race Theory.”
“There’s no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.” pic.twitter.com/7y2b40GqDk
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 17, 2021
That same month, DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law, which prohibits classroom instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade “or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards” for students in higher grades.
Speaking in front of a sign that says, “Protect children/Support parents,” Governor Desantis says this image of the “Genderbread man,” is one of the reasons the state needs the so-called “Don’t say gay bill.” https://t.co/tETUUI7jta pic.twitter.com/DWkTwA05jv
— CBS4 News Gainesville (@mycbs4) March 28, 2022
On Thursday, Diaz issued a memo to Florida school administrators informing them that the Biden administration’s gender identification guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education is not binding on the state and does not have to be followed.
Nothing in the federal guidance, Diaz wrote, legally requires districts to provide males access to female bathrooms, locker rooms, dorms or girls’ rooms on school trips or allow them to compete on female sports teams.
“To the extent that you do any of these things, you jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of Florida students and risk violating Florida law,” Diaz warned.
The Florida Department of Education “will not stand idly by as federal agencies attempt to impose a sexual ideology on Florida schools that risk the health, safety, and welfare of Florida students,” Diaz concluded.
In other words, Florida will oppose the zany policies coming out of D.C.
Now, the state is facilitating veterans’ ability to help educate the next generation of Americans and potentially enhance school safety as they do it.
Other states should follow Florida’s lead.