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.
- He ushered in the anti-grooming bill, which prohibited discussions of sex with k-3rd graders, despite attacks from leftists and RINOs.
- Not only was DeSantis’ leadership crucial in passing the anti-grooming bill, but the vast majority of Florida voters supported it.
- Governor DeSantis also proposed three pathbreaking methods to acquire more high-quality teachers in Florida, including giving hiring bonuses to military veterans and first responders who transition to teaching.
- He suspended four school board members who failed to produce safety improvements years after a Florida school shooting.
- He also joined the mourning parents of the victims of the Parkland shooter in calling for the death penalty for the shooter.
- He not only produced a massive victory in the 2022 election but almost every school board member who supported the anti-grooming law got elected riding his coattails.