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Gadsden County Schools increases teacher certification requirement

Posted at 11:56 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 15:46:56-04

QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — More than 40 Gadsden County Schools employees recently received a letter of non-reappointment as superintendent Elijah Key works to ensure all Gadsden County Teachers are properly certified.

Past practices in Gadsden County allowed teachers to lead classrooms without temporary certificates from the Department of Education. But superintendent Key says that practice expires June 30. Teachers without a professional or temporary certificate will no longer be allowed to teach in the district.

"What was written in our contract was that any teacher that didn't have certification would start the next term as a full-time sub," said Key.

It's a classification that could mean thousands of dollars shaved off teacher's salaries, and that's if they have the opportunity to return at all.

"So what we, in turn, was trying to do was do what we termed as a provisional instructor which would have given teachers an opportunity to have a decent salary, as well as work to get their certification right away so that could go back to full-time teacher status," said Key.

Judith Mandela of the Gadsden County Classroom Teachers' association says, while they don't disagree with the decision, they do hope that the temporary transitional period towards placing only fully certified teachers will ultimately lead to greater stability.

"Years ago there was a time when there was a constant turnover of administrators. I don't foresee that happening," Manela says. "But I think it's going to be important that, whatever happens, there become stability in the school system so that our children can begin to thrive."

It's a goal Key says is in their common interest.

"All of our kids deserve the very best," said Key.

Board members unanimously passed all Key's personnel recommendations during this Tuesday meeting.