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Saturday, January 28, 2023
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DeSantis Takes on Fla. Teachers Unions w/ Law Ending Automatic Dues

'You shouldn’t be able to continue as a zombie organization that doesn’t have the support of the people you are negotiating for...'

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has proposed a law that would end automatic enrollment in Florida’s teachers unions.

DeSantis described the measure as “paycheck protection legislation” because it would “guarantee that that money is going to actually go to those teachers,” he said, according to the Miami Herald.

“It’s not going to be frittered away by interest groups who get involved in the school system,” he added.

The law requires union members to pro-actively enroll in the union, whereas currently, enrollment is automatic upon employment with union dues garnished from all teachers’ paychecks.

The bill “maximizes [a teacher’s] freedom to choose, and I think it will be a more accurate reflection of who actually wants to be part of this or not,” DeSantis said.

“If they don’t have a majority of the teachers who are actually signing up to pay dues, it should be decertified,” he continued. “You shouldn’t be able to continue as a zombie organization that doesn’t have the support of the people you are negotiating for.”

In 2011, the state legislature attempted to pass such a bill, but it failed. A similar bill passed the House in 2022 but failed in the Senate.

However, DeSantis—whose landslide victory in November was one of the few examples of a red wave in the 2022 elections—maintained that he has the necessary backing for the law.

“I think we’re going to get big, big support in the Legislature,” he said.

Similar bills have produced outstanding results in other states, according to the New York Post.

Wisconsin adopted a similar policy in 2011 and benefited from increased test scores and graduation rates—despite a heavy political toll for then-Gov. Scott Walker, who was subjected to a recall campaign driven by the vindictive teachers unions.

However, the DeSantis already has capitalized on a growing parental rights movement and a wave of backlash against what many see as over-the-top indoctrination in the public schools to controversial leftist topics like Critical Race Theory and transgender rights.

The Post also pointed out that teachers unions were a primary driver behind the COVID lockdowns, which had massive negative repercussions for children.

DeSantis has produced several other trailblazing reforms in Florida’s education system.

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