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Bill to Decertify Teachers Unions Advances in Florida

March 6, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 27 approved a bill that would enable the state to decertify teachers’ unions if their membership drops below half of the bargaining unit. The bill, passed by the state House last month, would also set up a voucher program to pay for bullied public-school students to transfer to private schools or other public schools. The Appropriations Committee voted largely along party lines to restore the decertification amendment, which had been deleted by the Senate Education Committee. Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), its sponsor, said the amendment was intended to ensure that unions “represent the majority of that workforce.” Democrats called it “union busting,” with Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach) telling the Tampa Bay Times that the measure was trying “to get rid of a unit that fights for the rights” of teachers. The Koch brothers-backed group Americans for Prosperity said it would “expand the rights of teachers by creating more accountability and transparency requirements for government unions.” The bill will now go to the full Senate.  Read more

March 6, 2018

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