Duval school board mulls new teaching certificate to boost retention

News4Jax | By Joe McLean | June 7, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County School board on Tuesday night will discuss adopting a new type of teaching certificate, as the district continues to grapple with a crippling shortage of classroom educators.

Under the proposal, “Adjunct Teaching Certificates” could be issued to teachers who meet all the state requirements and have expertise in a particular subject.

“It may allow those with expired temporary certificates an additional year to work on professional certificate requirements and still be employed — thus, increasing teacher retention,” DCPS spokesperson Sonya Duke-Bolden said.

Adjunct certificates vary from the established “temporary certificate,” which is issued on a three-year basis, and a “professional certificate” which is issued and renewed every five years. A key difference is that temporary certificates can only be reissued after the previous one has expired for at least one year and professional certificates require exams, continuing educational classes, and induction have been completed.

Recipients of ATCs would be required to be at least 18-years-old, have a bachelor’s or higher-level degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and must have passed a state exam in their area of teaching expertise within the past decade.

Once a teacher is issued an ATC, they would only be allowed to receive another one if they are rated as “effective” or “highly effective” during the previous year.

Terrie Brady, president of Duval Teachers United, said the new certificate is unlikely to chip away at the massive deficit of teachers in the district, but that it would likely preserve the eligibility of around 200 teachers.

“There is no one silver bullet for the teacher shortfall in this county, state or nation right now,” Brady said. “But we do believe that this is a very bold step with our HR department and our superintendent and our school board.”

Brady added that public schools are not the only ones navigating a teacher shortage.

“This is not a phenomenon just to our district, in the traditional classroom,” Brady said. “It’s also a concern as it relates to some charter schools. We’ve also heard from a private school. So, there’s a teacher shortage everywhere.”

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