2017 Hiring Policy
The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Emergency License(s) Availability: Florida allows new teachers to teach on a temporary certificate, provided they meet a number of requirements, including passing a subject-area examination. Teachers with a temporary certificate must pass the state's general knowledge test within one year from the date of employment.
Emergency License Validity Period: The Temporary certificate is nonrenewable. However, the validity period may be extended for up to two years if the requirements for a professional certificate "were not completed due to the serious illness or injury of the applicant or other extraordinary extenuating circumstances or for 1 year if the temporary certificate holder is rated effective or highly effective based solely on a student learning growth formula approved by the Commissioner of Education."
House Billl 7069 (2017) Florida Statutes 1012.56(2) and (7) and Florida Statute 1012.34(8) Florida Department of Education Certificate Types and Requirements http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/cert_types.asp
Due to Florida's strong provisional and emergency license policies, no recommendations are provided.
Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis and provided additional information that resulted in updates subsequent to the state's review.
6B: Provisional and Emergency Licensure
Teachers who have not passed content licensing tests place students at risk. While states may need a regulatory basis for filling classroom positions with a few people who do not hold full teaching credentials, many of the regulations permitting this put the instructional needs of children at risk, often year after year. For example, schools can make liberal use of provisional certificates or waivers provided by the state if they fill classroom positions with instructors who have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed their state licensing tests. These allowances are permitted for up to three years in some states. The unfortunate consequence is that students' needs are neglected in an effort to extend personal consideration to adults who cannot meet minimum state standards.
While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, making provisional certificates and waivers available year after year could signal that the state does not put much value on its licensing standards or what they represent. States accordingly need to ensure that all persons given full charge of children's learning are required to pass the relevant licensing tests in their first year of teaching, ideally before they enter the classroom. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and states that allow teachers to postpone passing these tests are abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure.