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Gov. DeSantis unveils schools, teacher bills at Jacksonville charter school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed a package of education bills that could make big changes to school systems across the state Monday.

DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz spoke at Duval Charter School at Baymeadows in Jacksonville.

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In addition to proposing raising teacher pay, the governor said he wants to create a special category in the education budget that would go toward funding for teacher raises specifically, so money can’t be used for anything else. DeSantis wants $200 million more for teacher salaries.

“So you could increase education funding, doesn’t mean (school boards are) going to raise teacher pay, they may use it for other things,” DeSantis said. “And so when we said as as part of our education funding in the state of Florida, we’re going to create a special category of that funding that has to go to raise teacher salaries. So we created this provision in our budget in the Florida Education Finance program.”

DeSantis accused school districts of not spending more money on teacher pay, and school unions of holding teacher pay hostage for other issues.

He also proposed a teacher’s bill of rights to empower teachers to discipline students in class, and allows teachers to file complaints if the district allegedly tells a teacher to violate Florida law and then disciplines them for it.

Other bills he supports have already been filed by the state legislature, including a bill to create a constitutional amendment to make school board races partisan, a bill to create school board term limits of 8 years, and a bill to stop teachers unions from being able to get union dues in a direct deposit from teachers’ paychecks.

Teachers are not required to join unions in Florida already.

All bills and funding requests are subject to approval by the Florida Legislature.

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