(RightIsRight.co) – Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has put forth new legislation described as a “teachers’ bill of rights” that would crack down on the power of teacher unions.
The proposed draft law seeks to raise teacher salaries, improve paycheck protection, and introduce shorter-term limits for 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, as cited by Newsmax.
“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,” he elaborated.
Florida’s Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. lauded the governor’s long-term efforts to boost the standing of individual teachers.
“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,” he added.
Under DeSantis’ proposal, the maximum term of school board members would be reduced from 12 to 8 years.
The teachers’ bill of rights would introduce paycheck protections that would make it mandatory for school unions to represent no fewer than 60% of the eligible employees, up from the current threshold of 50%.
The Republican governor’s bill would also make it possible for the state of Florida to investigate teachers’ unions on suspicions of abuse, fraud, and waste.
The unions would be obliged to undergo financial audits and provide financial disclosures every year.
If adopted, the proposed draft law would provide an entry-level annual salary for teachers starting at $48,000.
The report pointed out that the state of Florida has secured over $2 billion in additional funding for teachers’ pay in the past couple of years.
In addition to the above measures, DeSantis’ draft law for teacher empowerment would feature provisions resembling those in his Parental Rights in Education Act.
These would include a new process for alerting the state of teachers’ rights violations and adopting a “stand your ground” safety policy, allowing teachers to ensure safe classroom environments.
Teachers who don’t wish to join a union would be guaranteed protection, and the bill would help defend them from employers punishing them for their beliefs or forcing them to violate Florida’s laws.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) January 24, 2023