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Governor Signs Education Bills into Law, Could Threaten Teacher’s Unions

March 11th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

With Governor Rick Scott’s signature the year’s controversial K-12 education bill became law.

The legislation allows, for the first time, sales tax payments to fund private school scholarships for bullied students. It also increases per student funding by more than $100.

 

“This is an election year promise to the students of this state that we will provide every single one of you to the best of our abilities a world class education,” said House Speaker Richard Corcoran. “The one that you deserve that gives you hope and gives you dignity and gives you an opportunity to go out there and change the world.”

The bill also puts new membership requirements on teachers unions.

If a union’s membership drops below 50% of the total teachers, the union will have to apply for re-certification.

Decertification is the brainchild of Representative Scott Plakon, who says it’s about making sure unions are have the support of those they represent.

 

“There are some labor unions throughout the state, I’ve heard of one that has as little as 3% of the bargaining unit,” said Rep. Plakon. “So you have a small number of people making decisions for a large number of people and that just seems undemocratic to me.”

But teacher’s unions, who say its an attempt to bust unions, argue even teachers who don’t  pays dues, still benefit from the union’s advocacy.

 

“People belong to the union for whatever reason, or not to the union for whatever reason, but it is a benefit. It creates labor peace in our schools,” said Florida Education Association President, Joanne McCall.

Under the law teachers unions will be required to report their membership numbers each year.

Governor Scott also signed the Higher Education bill Sunday morning. It makes permanent increased Bright Futures awards. It also allows students to use the scholarship for summer classes.

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