Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran today announced his plan to eliminate the significant educator certification backlog. Since the Florida Department of Education implemented its new educator certification system in November 2017, the wait time for certificate processing has increased and the number of educator certificates issued dropped by 55 percent, from 70,166 in 2016-17 to 31,397 in 2017-18.
Addressing this issue is a top priority, and the department will eliminate the backlog within 120 days. To meet this goal, the Commissioner ordered a review of the current operating procedures and immediately implemented the following actions:
- Addressed a leadership deficit in the Bureau of Educator Certification;
- Assigned 6 new staff members to the bureau to quickly reduce the application time and clear the backlog;
- Designated a single point of contact within the department for superintendents to report any issues they encounter, which will be immediately addressed; and
- Issued guidance to district superintendents allowing them to submit the names of applications that need to be prioritized, which the department will immediately address.
Commissioner Corcoran said, “Upon taking the helm, I became aware of an inefficiency and began immediately developing solutions. These unreasonable wait times for our school teachers are unacceptable, and this stops today. Governor DeSantis asked me to ensure the Department operates in an efficient and accountable manner and these actions demonstrate my commitment to honoring that request.”
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.