Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said teaching requirements have been "too rigid" for educators.
Florida is issuing temporary teaching certificates to allow military veterans to teach in schools.
The policy has garnered criticism from educators who said that it could impact teaching quality.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained that teaching requirements have been "too rigid" for requiring educators to have "certain credentials."
"We want you to be able to teach Florida students," DeSantis said in a video on Twitter. "For too long, the requirements to be a teacher have been too rigid with union bosses insisting that all educators get certain credentials that often have little impact on teaching performance."
The state's new program invites veterans to teach if they served four years and got an honorable or medical discharge and clear a background check. They also must have completed 60 college credits (half of a four-year degree) and pass a Florida subject exam.
"Our veterans have a wealth of knowledge and experience they can bring to bear in the classroom, and with this innovative approach, they will be able to do so for five years with a temporary certification as they work towards their degree," DeSantis said.
The Florida Education Association is anticipating over 8,000 teacher vacancies going into the 2022-2023 school year, according to WPTV. In a recent statement, the agency called on lawmakers to ensure teachers get better salaries and schools have "qualified, experienced teachers."
"Every morning our students recite the Pledge of Allegiance while looking at the star-spangled banner," DeSantis said. "It is fitting that the teacher in the classroom is somebody who took an oath and put his or her life on the line to preserve, protect, and defend our flag and the freedom it represents."