Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he will promote a legislative package aimed at improving education and empowering teachers in the state, including providing resources for pay increases.
DeSantis was accompanied by Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. this Monday morning at Duval Charter School in Bemidose, Jacksonville, at a day organized under the motto: “Florida, the State of Education.”
He said the state would pump more money into a program to raise current teacher salaries. Teacher pay increases have also been a major part of the budget, according to DeSantis, with Florida spending nearly $2 billion to raise salaries.
According to the governor, there is a shortage of teachers nationally, but it is lower in Florida than in the rest of the country.
He also said that Florida teachers need to be protected to comply with state law rather than face action by school boards over political or policy-focused disagreements.
DeSantis said he would “advance proposals” to protect teachers’ pay from automatic union dues. DeSantis said it should be an option, not an automatic deduction, and there should be more transparency.
At other points in his speech, the governor expressed his displeasure over the use of telephones by children to distract them from learning when they were in class.