Military Personnel, Veterans & Spouses
The Florida Department of Education is proud to provide opportunities for members of the United States Armed Forces, veterans and their spouses to become part of our team working hand in hand to improve Florida’s education system for students of all backgrounds and abilities. Florida is proud to host the 5th highest population of active duty personnel and reserve members in the military’s five armed services and that over 1.5 million veterans make Florida home.
Florida leads the nation in high-quality teacher policies in areas like making sure new teachers enter the classroom well-prepared, identifying teachers who are helping students achieve more and retaining effective teachers who improve achievement for all students. The Florida Department of Education commits to recruitment of military personnel, veterans and their spouses to continue their service by teaching and leading in Florida’s schools.
The Florida legislature expanded opportunities for military personnel, veterans and their spouses to join the education profession through passage of the “Don Hahnfeldt Veteran and Military Family Opportunity Act” (Chapter 2018-007, L.O.F.). The act provides the opportunity to request waivers of initial certification and certification examination fees for active duty military personnel, honorably discharged veterans and their spouses or surviving spouses. Educator candidates who are eligible to apply for the Military Certification Fees Waiver (MCFW) include:
- Active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve unit;
- The spouses of active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve unit;
- Veterans who were honorably discharged or retired from service as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve units;
- The spouses of veterans who were honorably discharged or retired from service as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve units; or
- The surviving spouses of service members who were killed while on active duty as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve units.
To complete a waiver request, an educator candidate is required to:
- Submit the waiver request via the Military Certification Fees Waiver site;
- Upload official documentation for review to determine that she or he meets the qualification requirements for MCFW eligibility; and,
- Await notification of his/her MCFW eligibility prior to submitting application for an Educator’s Certificate or registering for a certification exam.
An MCFW remains valid for up to five years upon determination of eligibility, after which time an educator may submit a new request for review according to eligibility requirements in effect upon submission of the request for a new waiver. Fees for the following certification services will be waived for individuals granted MCFWs:
- $75.00 per subject for an initial certification application
- $75.00 for an initial application for certification in athletic coaching
- $75.00 for an application to upgrade from a Temporary to a Professional Certificate
- $75.00 per subject for addition of a subject or endorsement to a valid certificate
- DD Form 214 (issued by the Department of Defense)
- Valid military identification card
- Valid military dependent identification card
- Military service record
- Military personnel file
- Veteran record
- Discharge paper or separation document
- Marriage license
Note: Do not send original documents to the Bureau of Educator Certification. Documents submitted to the Bureau of Educator Certification become part of the applicant's permanent certification record and cannot be returned. All documentation added to an educator’s permanent certification record is subject to Florida public records laws.
Registration fees for initial attempts on examinations for certification will be waived for educator candidates granted MCFW eligibility. Please visit FTCE/FELE Certification Website for detailed information on Florida's certification examinations.
Educator Certification offers the following opportunities for educators to request extensions to their Florida Educator’s Certificates to active duty military personnel and spouses.
- A educator with a valid Temporary or Professional Certificate called into service or who volunteers, whether in wartime or peacetime, for the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve unit may request a military extension to his/her certificate for the period of time equal to the time spent in service; or
- A certified educator who is the spouse of an active duty military service member of the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve unit may request a 2-year military extension to his/her Temporary Certificate to complete the necessary requirements for upgrade to the Professional Certificate. As a certified educator, the spouse must already have demonstrated mastery of general knowledge to be issued this extension.
The Florida legislature also provided a pathway for veteran military officers to transition into school administrator roles through passage of the “Don Hahnfeldt Veteran and Military Family Opportunity Act” (Chapter 2018-007, L.O.F.). U.S. military veterans hired to serve as a school administrator may be eligible for issuance of a special Temporary Certificate in Educational Leadership if he or she satisfies all of the following requirements:
- Honorably discharged or retired from the U.S. Armed Forces
- Served at least three (3) years as a commissioned, non-commissioned, or warrant officer, and
- Passes all subtests of the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE)
Please refer to the Acceptable supporting documents above for official documentation required by the department for review to determine that the veteran meets the qualifications.
- Military Certification Fees Waiver site
- Troops to Teachers: Proud to Serve Again
- Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)
For other information regarding the processing of requests or eligibility requirements for a Military Certification Fees Waiver, please contact the Florida Department of Education via email at TroopsTeaching4FL@fldoe.org.