As Florida faces a shortage of teachers, Governor Ron DeSantis has suggested a new initiative to filling the roles – turning to former law enforcement officers.
DeSantis is hard at work on expanding a law that enables military veterans to earn a five-year temporary certificate to teach before earning the necessary bachelor’s degree. In addition, DeSantis has also announced he’s offering a $4,000 bonus for officers who sign up for the program, with an additional $1,000 offered for certain positions in dire need of teachers. He’s also looking into waiving exam fees for officers, just as he’s done in the past for veterans.
“We believe that the folks that have served our communities have an awful lot to offer,” DeSantis noted in a statement in Port Richey.
Here to speak to us about the potential of this new initiative is Michael Letts, a former officer with 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt. Letts currently serves as president, founder and CEO for InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through charitable groups and sponsorships. His expertise will certainly provide weight to this subject.
- What do you think about the idea of former police officers and first responders serving as teachers in the community? Do you think children will have a lot to learn from them?
- This seems like a good opportunity for officers that have resigned from duty or find the current climate of police work to be too disheartening. What do you think?
- Some teachers have voiced opposition to this initiative, noting that they’re concerned with how easily someone can get a “five year temporary certificate,” as they note. What would you say to them?
- What kind of teaching programs could officers follow to help them get into what teaching is all about? Or do you believe there are a variety of subjects they could cover?
- Do you believe this could open a new initiative for other states in the future? Could others possibly follow Florida’s lead in filling the void and providing police officers with a new way to show their expertise?
- If you had the chance to be a teacher, would you do it? Or at least try it to see how it works for you?
- Speaking of educating people on new subjects, where can we learn more about what you and your team are doing at InVest USA?
More information can be found on the official website at http://www.investusa.org.
About Michael Letts:
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.