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Tags: florida | schools | teacher | ron desantis | paychecks

Gov. DeSantis Proposes Bill of Rights for Florida Teachers


By    |   Monday, 23 January 2023 03:32 PM EST

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a potentially groundbreaking proposal Monday that would amount to a teachers' bill of rights in the state to include bolstering paycheck protection, raising teacher pay, empowering leaders in the classrooms, and imposing term limits on school board members.

"This is a huge package to increase teacher pay, support teacher empowerment, and protect teachers' paychecks by ensuring they have control over their hard-earned salary," DeSantis said.

"We want more transparency into how school unions operate, and we are going to fight against school-union haggling that holds teachers and their salary increases hostage. Partisan groups should not be given special privileges."

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. praised DeSantis' efforts.

"From day one, Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it his mission to raise teacher pay and elevate educators in the classroom — and he has succeeded," Diaz said. "Today's announcement goes another step further to provide historic funding for teachers' salaries and ensure they have control over their classrooms and paychecks."

With term reductions, DeSantis' proposal would reduce the maximum stay on school boards from 12 years to eight.

With paycheck protections, school unions would be required to represent at least 60% of employees eligible for representation, an increase over the current 50% threshold.

The proposal would also permit state investigations into unions suspected of fraud, waste, and abuse — when necessary.

Also, the bill would require annual audits and financial disclosures for unions.

With raises in teacher pay, over the last two years, Florida has secured more than $2 billion in additional funding. As such, the salary for entry-level teachers would begin at $48,000.

With teacher empowerment, DeSantis' proposal would include provisions similar to Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill:

  • Establishing a new process for individuals notifying the state of a potential violation of teachers' rights, while ensuring the Department of Education can investigate the claims
  • Empowering teachers to maintain safe classroom environments by creating a "stand your ground" classroom safety policy.
  • Emphasizing that teachers have the choice to join their local union and would not face any repercussions for doing so.
  • Providing civil remedies for teachers who are asked to violate Florida law and punished by their employers for standing up for their beliefs

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a potentially groundbreaking proposal Monday that would amount to a Teacher's Bill of Rights in the state.
florida, schools, teacher, ron desantis, paychecks
Monday, 23 January 2023 03:32 PM
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