The Bureau of Educator Certification is responsible for implementing certification provisions in Florida statutes and State Board of Education Rule 6A-4, Florida Administrative Code, which include approving applications for certification and ensuring that prospective teachers demonstrate a mastery of general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional preparation and education competence.
Florida offers two types of educator certificates: the professional certificate and the temporary certificate; each has specific requirements and validation periods. The state also has reciprocity procedures for out-of-state teachers who hold a valid certificate issued by another state and wish to obtain a Florida educator certificate.
Prospective teachers can earn certification in a variety of subject areas. Educators who currently hold a valid Florida Temporary or Professional Certificate can also add a subject coverage or endorsementif they satisfy the subject specialization requirements.
The temporary teaching certificate provides individuals who meet certain specified requirements to teach while they complete the remaining requirements for a professional certificate. To be eligible for a temporary teaching certificate, individuals must hold at least a bachelor's degree and demonstrate mastery of subject area knowledge or subject specialization with a 2.5 GPA for a requested subject, in addition to meeting other requirements. A temporary teaching certificate is valid for three years and not renewable.
The Department of Education provides a complete listing of the requirements associated with the temporary teaching certificate on its website.
The National Board Certification is designed to develop, retrain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. National Board Certification identifies teachers who meet the National Board Standards, which represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do in 25 certificate areas. To gain National Board Certification, teachers must demonstrate that they meet those standards by passing a series of assessment components.
A valid National Board Certificate is accepted for full reciprocity for a Florida Professional Certificate for new teachers in Florida. In addition, National Board Certification satisfies Florida's requirements for renewal of an educator's Florida Professional Certificate.
In 2019, the most recent year for which such data is available, Florida had 13,552 National Board Certified Teachers. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards provides a directory of Florida teachers with a National Board Certification.
The department's Division of Educator Quality provides a number of statewide oversight and support activities designed to ensure teacher quality. These include educator preparation programs, educator evaluation systems, professional development systems, and educator recruitment programs.
In addition, the department has established the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs) to provide guidance to educators and educator preparation programs. The FEAPs serve as the state's standards for effective instructional practice and are used to define and identify effective teaching.
The Florida Department of Education's Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development, and Retention assists prospective teachers who have an interest in teaching in the state. At the state level, the Bureau organizes the Great Florida Teach-In, which is an annual job fair that enables educator candidates seeking employment in Florida to obtain interviews with district and charter school personnel responsible for hiring teachers. The bureau also maintains district recruitment contacts and local job fair information on its recruitment website for prospective teachers.
In addition, the bureau provides assistance to schools in starting and maintaining chapters of Florida Future Educators of America, which is a pre-collegiate and collegiate teacher program. The program provides a forum for students to become aware of career opportunities in education and nurtures their interest in teaching as a career.
Creation of the Teacher Salary Increase Allocation. The 2020 Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-94, Laws of Florida, which creates a teacher salary increase allocation within the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). The allocation is intended to assist school districts and charter schools in their recruitment and retention of classroom teachers and other instructional personnel. Each school district will receive the allocation based on the district's proportionate share of the base FEFP allocation, and each district must provide a calculated proportionate share to each charter school within the district. District and charter school use of this allocation is restricted to
Prior to distributing allocation funds, each school district and each charter school shall develop a salary distribution plan, which must be approved by the district school board or charter school governing body, respectively. These salary distribution plans must be submitted to the Department of Education by October 1st of each fiscal year.
The law also repeals the Best and Brightest Teacher and Principal allocations, which previously served as recruitment and retention awards for qualified personnel.
Websites of Interest
Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy
Center for Teaching Quality
Florida Department of Education, Division of Educator Quality
Florida Department of Education, Educator Certification
Florida Department of Education, Professional Development
Florida Department of Education, Recruitment Programs
Florida Department of Education, Professional Practices
Florida Department of Education, PK-12 Public School Data and Reports, Staff
Florida Department of Education, Charter Schools Trainings and Professional Development
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
National Council on Teacher Quality