DeSantis signs new law amid teacher shortage, education colleges' woke initiatives

In repose to Florida’s 9,500 teaching and supporting staff vacancies, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate bill 869 on June 9, allowing veterans to teach without having a bachelor's degree.

Growing along with the national shortage is the abundance of college education curriculums entrenched in leftist propaganda, inducing DEI and LGBTQ training.

In response to Florida’s 9,500 teaching and supporting staff vacancies, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate bill 869 on June 9, allowing veterans to teach without having a bachelor’s degree. 

The number of students earning their teaching certificates and bachelor’s degrees in education has plummeted to decade lows, limiting the pool of qualified applicants to teach in K-12.

A 2019 report from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) reveals that from 2018-2019 less than 90,000 education degrees were handed out, a nearly 110,000 drop compared to the number of education graduates in the 1970s.  

Moreover, according to American Federation of Teachers President Andrew Spar, the number of graduates that completed their education degree went from 8,000 to less than 3,000 from 2010 to 2022. 

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Growing along with the national shortage is the abundance of college education curriculums entrenched in leftist propaganda, inducing DEI and LGBTQ training.

Campus Reform reported on P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, an affiliate of the University of Florida showing that the research school had been teaching 6-grade students about pronouns, gender identity, and using terms such as “people with a penis” and “people with a vulva.” 

But radicalized curricula have not stopped at the P.K. Yonge Development Research School. Campus Reform, in fact, has reported on many other examples where colleges are training future teachers to include leftist propaganda in their lesson plans. 

UCLA’s teacher education program, for example, trains “social justice educators” and prepares its graduates to bring anti-racist teaching to the K-12 classroom.  

At American University’s School of Education, education majors are taught Critical Race Theory to help ‘affirm’ students’ backgrounds.

In the 2021 fall semester, The Ohio State University’s Early Education program contained multiple courses surrounding “racism, oppression, sexuality, and privilege.”

Education professors at the University of Texas at Austin conducted a study to create a program for K-12 educators to teach preschoolers about anti-racism. 

[RELATED: 5 Times campus leftists expressed anti-American sentiments in 2021]

Florida Senate Bill 869 aimed to quell the growing shortage by opening K-12 doors to veterans. However, Governor DeSantis’ decision to sign it into law has sparked debate among educators and students in Florida. Some leaders are outraged that veterans are allowed to teach without a bachelor’s degree. 

In a statement to the Herald Tribune, Sarasota County Teachers Association President Barry Dubin likened veterans to ‘warm bodies,’ used to fill a classroom.

“You can’t just throw a warm body in a classroom, that’s not the answer,” he said.

Others are happy about the decision, however.

Campus Reform spoke with Florida Gulf Coast University student Samantha Stilwell-Carroll about Florida’s new law. She said the plan is “a great solution” to the teacher shortages. 

“I think allowing veterans to teach helps the teacher shortage in Florida. Not only do they have to have 60 credits but they’re also assigned a mentor and must pass an exam with bachelor-level subjects,” Stilwell-Carroll explained. “So, I believe this is a great solution to our teacher shortage and also keeps our veterans employed after serving.”

Stilwell-Carroll also said the certificate might help veterans “get their bachelor’s degree.”

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Despite a bachelor’s degree being unnecessary for veterans, there is still a myriad of qualifications one must have to obtain to receive the certificate. 

In order to qualify to teach, veterans must have a minimum of 48 months in active duty, have been honorably or medically discharged, and have 60 or more college credits with an average GPA of 2.5. Veterans must also submit to a background check and pass a “Florida subject area examination for bachelor’s level subjects.” 

If all the criteria are met, veterans will be able to teach in Florida for five years and then have the option to renew their certificate. 

Military spouses and their families are not eligible for the program. 

In a final blast to critics about his decision, Governor DeSantis said, “I will take the marine every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

Campus Reform reached out to President Dubin, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and all the universities mentioned. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow @kliseanderson on Twitter.