67.7 F
Washington D.C.

DeSantis Strikes Back: Empowering Florida Teachers and Challenging Unions


Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, recently signed a bill into law that will significantly impact teachers’ unions, providing teachers with greater autonomy and transparency regarding their pay. As one might expect, the unions are not pleased with these new measures.

DeSantis took to Twitter to announce his latest efforts in education reform, highlighting the new “Teacher’s Bill of Rights,” paycheck protection measures, and school board election reforms. A notable change in these new measures is that teachers will now have the option to opt out of union membership and prevent the automatic deduction of union dues and fees from their paychecks.

Under the new law, SB 256, teachers must sign an authorization form to permit the union to deduct money from their pay. Previously, unions automatically deducted dues from teachers’ paychecks, regardless of whether the educator wished to join the union. DeSantis praised the law, stating that it would increase a teacher’s take-home pay.

Moreover, starting on July 1, the form will provide detailed information about the money unions deduct from a teacher’s paycheck and inform teachers that union membership is not required for employment. The reforms also raise the threshold for union certification from 50% to 60% of voting teachers, ensuring that unions must win majority support to be certified as representatives in a school or district.

Additional provisions in the new law include annual audits and financial disclosures of unions, enabling state investigations into union fraud, waste, and abuse and prohibiting union operatives and lobbyists from giving gifts to elected officials.

Unsurprisingly, unions and their supporters are outraged by SB 256, as they stand to lose revenue. Other states have enacted similar measures to end the automatic withdrawal of union dues from public workers’ paychecks, often leading to declines in union revenue and membership.

Democratic Florida state Rep. Lauren Book criticized the new law, arguing that it shows Republicans “don’t trust our teachers.” She defended the unions’ right to automatically remove money from teachers’ paychecks, calling the new law “unconstitutional and undemocratic.”

However, as the battle over school closures and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed, teacher’s unions have wielded significant power over public education systems, often to the detriment of students’ health and education. Governor DeSantis’ latest move is a reminder that teachers’ unions will no longer have unchallenged authority in Florida.

Alexandra Russel
Alexandra Russel
Highly respected journalist and political commentator with over a decade of experience in the industry. Alex was born and raised in Florida, where she developed a passion for writing at a young age, leading her to pursue a degree in journalism from the University of Florida. After graduation, she worked as a political reporter for several local and national publications before being appointed as the chief editor at Conservative Fix.

Related articles