New DeSantis Plan- Empower Educators, Increase Pay, Make Teacher’s Unions Collect Their Own Dues

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled what might be the most significant education plan during his 4-year tenure as the state’s top executive.

Education policy has remained a top priority for DeSantis since he entered office. He has proposed and passed controversial legislation that is relatively popular in the state, such as the Parental Rights in Education bill and the Stop WOKE Act.

The Governor’s latest proposal would bolster Florida’s status as a ‘Right to Work’ state concerning teachers, including a significant pay raise for educators, and protect teachers’ rights.

DeSantis began by touting the pay raise proposed in the plan and saying that teacher’s unions should not have ‘special privileges’ in the state of Florida.

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Despite criticism from Democrats in the state and across the country that the Governor’s agenda has not been supportive of teachers, DeSantis mentioned that teachers had seen a $2 billion raise since he was elected.

The legislation would strengthen Florida’s Right to Work law for public sector employees by ensuring that teachers have to opt in to paying dues to their unions rather than having them deducted from their paychecks.

Two critical elements of the proposal would:

  1. “Prohibit any union representing public employees from having its dues and assessments deducted by the public employee’s employer.”
  2. “Require employees to submit a form acknowledging that Florida is a right-to-work state and union participation is optional.”

“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,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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 praised DeSantis’ set of proposals, saying that they will give teachers more ‘control over their classroom’ and paychecks while also supporting a pay bump for Florida teachers.

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

Diaz has been a key ally of the Florida Governor, who has defended a recent decision to ban AP classes teaching critical race theory in public schools.

During the press conference where DeSantis unveiled the proposal, a press member asked him about the decision to ban the class taught in Florida high schools.

DeSantis defended the decision to ban the class and clarified why it was banned.

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