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Corcoran seeks to speed up teacher certification

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
(AP Photo/Steve Cannon) (Associated Press)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – New state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is taking a series of steps to eliminate a “significant” backlog in the process of certifying teachers, the Florida Department of Education said Tuesday.

The department began using a new certification system in November 2017, leading to longer delays in processing applications, the department said in a news release.

The number of educator certificates issued dropped from 70,166 in 2016-2017 to 31,397 in 2017-2018.

Corcoran, a former House speaker who became commissioner this month, issued a statement saying the “unreasonable wait times for our school teachers are unacceptable, and this stops today.”

Among the steps announced Tuesday were adding six staff members to the department’s Bureau of Educator Certification and allowing county school superintendents to submit the names of applicants who need to be prioritized.