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DeSantis Signs Law Establishing a Teachers’ Bill of Rights, Limits on School Board Terms

A comprehensive package of legislation signed today will increase teacher pay and authority, reign in out-of-control unions and school boards, and ban TikTok and social media in the classroom.

MIAMI, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a comprehensive package of legislation to support and empower Florida’s teachers, reign in out-of-control unions and school boards, kick TikTok out of schools – and protect the integrity of classrooms.

DeSantis also announced more than $1 billion for teacher pay in this year’s state budget, a $252 million increase over the current record. Florida has now invested more than $3.3 billion in teacher salary increases and bonuses over the last five years.

“We have delivered another record boost to teacher pay and we have coupled salary increases with positive reforms,” said DeSantis. “For far too long, unions and rogue school boards have pushed around our teachers, misused government funds for political purposes, taken money from teachers’ pockets to steer it for purposes other than representation of teachers, and sheltered their true political goals from the educators they purport to represent.”

The governor thanked legislative leaders and bill sponsors for ushering in a new era of accountability to the people, rather than politically-motivated school boards and special interest groups. Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said the new laws will provide educators with competitive compensation, professional development and instructional support to maintain order in the classroom.

“We are investing over $1 billion in teacher raises and also increasing per-student funding to an unprecedented level as we work to provide Florida parents with a transformational opportunity to direct funding for their children’s education,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.

The governor signed five bills in total and announced his intent to sign major funding for teachers included in the General Appropriations Act for the most historic package of teacher policy in the nation.

Bills signed into law today include:

SB 256, Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees, prohibits teachers’ unions from using government resources to have dues deducted directly from employee paychecks.

HB 477, Term Limits for District School Board Members, reduces term limits from 12 to 8 years for school board members – the same term limits the governor, cabinet and the entire legislature.

HB 1537, Education, Extends temporary teaching certificates from three years to five years. Improves the overall quality of Florida’s teacher preparation programs by eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic requirements from certification and alternative certification programs.

HB 1035, K-12 Teachers, creates Chapter 1015 in Florida Statutes to codify the “Teachers’ Bill of Rights.” Takes a stand for teachers’ efforts to preserve safety and order in their classrooms by giving teachers the benefit of the doubt when breaking up fights, preventing assaults, and giving teachers the presumption of acting lawfully, acting on behalf of their personal safety, and the safety of their students.

HB 379, Technology in K-12 Public Schools, Takes social media out of the classroom and TikTok out of our schools. Gives teachers the authority to establish classroom rules on cell phone use during instructional times and allows them to withhold a student’s phone if it is a disruption in the classroom.