Gov. DeSantis touts new statewide education initiatives at Jacksonville charter school – WJXT News4JAX
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz were in Jacksonville on Monday morning to unveil a number of new education initiatives that will be a priority heading into this year’s legislative session.
Speaking at Duval Charter School at Baymeadows, DeSantis said his priorities will be giving teachers more rights and decreasing term limits for school board members.
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DeSantis said he wants to increase money that will be allocated to teachers’ salaries from $500 million to $1 billion, but he also slammed local and state teachers unions and accused them of holding up that money.
DeSantis said he wants to make sure that school unions are not “exerting excessive influence.”
He also said he and the legislature will be proposing a series of laws they are calling a “Teacher’s Bill of Rights.”
“We want to make sure that teachers that are doing their job well are protected and are able to do that without fear of any reprisals. And so we will be establishing a new process for individuals to notify the state if a teacher’s rights have been violated and we will ensure that our Florida Department of Education can investigate those complaints very quickly,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis added that he is moving forward with a proposal that would also put an end to automatic deductions for teachers union dues.
“That’s your choice. If you want to do it, you know, send money, that’s fine. But, to have it automatically deducted when you sign an authorization form, they don’t even tell you how much is being deducted, you know, that’s not right,” DeSantis said.
Terrie Brady, President of Duval Teachers United, questioned why DeSantis is targeting teachers unions and not other unions like those used by police and firefighters.
“In Duval County, we have four or five other unions here that represent members in the exact same way. They do collective bargaining, they have dues deduction, they are a stand-alone, they represent grievances due process, all sorts of things. Maybe it’s because we are the largest, you know, that could that could be it, maybe it’s because we are politically active,” Brady said. “I do want to stress that no union dues are used for political activities.”
DeSantis also said he would like to see shorter school board term limits, lowering it from 12 years to eight years.
“I mean, …….