Florida teaching credentials with a less-than-perfect past
If you are considering becoming a teacher in Florida, certain aspects of your past might cause you some concern. After all, the application process is relatively rigorous and would involve a review of your official record.
State law provides a relatively long list of crimes that could potentially make you ineligible for the Florida Educator Certificate. However, as always, it is important to look at the specifics of your case before deciding on your strategy.
Preparing an application
The department of education has several useful resources for applying for certification. However, these are general guidelines and do not provide the entire picture of this complex process.
That said, you may find some useful points on the DoE’s general knowledge page. They include:
- Failure to disclose your history might result in the denial of your application.
- There are separate sections for standard records and other types of records.
- The rules compel you to list expunged, sealed and juvenile records.
- The Office of Professional Practices Services may ask for documents and a personal statement.
A criminal record does not automatically disqualify you. However, the review process is sometimes confusing, and mistakes could threaten your chances.
What happens during a review?
If Professional Practical Services decides to review your application, they will send you a certified letter. Your complete, prompt response is one of the more important factors in the review process.
Your review would typically take about three months. If it turns out that the DoE denies your application, you would get a letter of denial, a list of reasons for the denial and a form that lets you appeal the decision.
Even if you have a denial in the past, that might not be the end. You could potentially restart the application process.