DeSantis Announces New Legislation To Empower Teachers, Raise Their Pay

Ron DeSantis

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a new legislative proposal to create a Teacher’s Bill of Rights that will empower teachers in their classrooms and invest an additional $1 billion in their pay. 

As explained in a press release from DeSantis’ office, to empower teachers, the legislation will “Establish a new process for individuals to notify the state of a violation of teachers’ rights and ensure that the Department of Education can investigate those claims.”

“Empower teachers to maintain safe classroom environments by creating a ‘stand your ground’ classroom safety policy to protect teachers who are often judged unfairly for maintaining order and safety in their classrooms,” the press release continued. “Clarify that teachers have the choice to join their local teachers union and will not face any repercussions if they opt not to join,” and provide “civil remedies for teachers who are asked to violate Florida law and punished by their employers for standing up for what is right.”

The additional $1 billion in funding to school district will allow school districts “to apply the funding to continue raising starting teacher salaries or to provide salary increases for veteran teachers and other eligible instructional personnel.” The press release explained, “No eligible full-time classroom teacher will receive a base salary less than the minimum base salary established during the 2022-2023 school year.”

The legislation will also enact paycheck protection for teachers by prohibiting “any union representing public employees from having its dues and assessments deducted by the public employee’s employer,” and other protections. 

“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 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.”

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