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For too long, public school unions have enjoyed special privileges from states and education systems across America. They negotiate salaries, benefits, and other school policies through the collective bargaining process. They take their funding, the vast share of which is spent on political causes, directly from teacher paychecks. They roll over teacher membership year after year without any action from the teacher.
The devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic opened parents’ eyes to the unions’ abuse of these privileges. Now, leaders like Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida are showing the grit required to take on entrenched interest groups and reduce their unwarranted influence over America’s schools.
Capitalizing on his recent drubbing of pro-teacher union gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and dozens of anti-education freedom school board candidates, Governor DeSantis announced to Florida school board members and future candidates in December an ambitious “Freedom Blueprint” that would disrupt public K–12 schools’ cozy relationships with unions and restore to teachers the agency to decide whether they wish to join or remain with these unaccountable, ideologically driven interest groups.
If enacted, DeSantis’s proposals would raise teacher pay while stymying union bosses from siphoning these funds out of teachers’ pockets