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DeSantis says he supports Florida teachers, not teachers unions

The big story: Since 2020, Florida lawmakers have included hundreds of millions of dollars in their annual budget specifically to increase teacher salaries.

The original goal was to raise the average starting salary to over $47,500, but over time the rules were changed to give more money to experienced educators as well.

This year, lawmakers allocated another $200 million for that effort, bringing the total increase to $1.25 billion. On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would approve the spending and said his administration would do whatever it can to support teachers. Some union leaders disagreed. Read more here.

DeSantis said he is continuing to review individual items in anticipation of lawmakers submitting the full budget, Florida Phoenix reports. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Hot topics

Title IX: The Biden administration has asked a federal judge to dismiss Florida's attempt to block new rules regarding gender discrimination in schools, the News Service of Florida reports.

Supervisors: Duval County Superintendent-elect Christopher Bernier reached a contract agreement with district officials over the weekend, WJXT reports. The school board is scheduled to review the agreement on Wednesday.

Start times: Gadsden County schools will change their schedules in August to comply with new state requirements that high school classes begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m., WTXL reports. Districts have until 2026 to make adjustments.

Security: The Flagler County sheriff is proposing that the school district cover a larger share of the cost of stationing security guards on school campuses, Flagler Live reports.

School closings: Duval County school district officials continue to take public input on plans to close up to 30 schools to address a looming budget deficit, WJXT reports. • The Jackson County school district is considering closing a “dilapidated” building that houses an alternative program and moving the program to a newly renovated elementary school campus, WMBB reports. The idea has raised concerns about housing the two different student populations at the same site.

Final season: A 12-year-old girl has graduated from a private high school near Tallahassee and plans to attend Tallahassee State College in the fall, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Enrollment: The Indian River County School District is considering program changes at two low-enrollment schools to encourage more students to attend, TC Palm reports. One of the schools would adopt a non-religious classical education model, while the other would become a STEAM magnet.

Employee compensation: According to a WFLA report, paraprofessionals in the Pinellas County School District are demanding higher pay and an additional personal day as part of their annual contract negotiations.

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Choose: Governor Ron DeSantis has created a new political committee to provide financial support to school board candidates he supports, Politico Florida reports.

Book Challenges: The Indian River County School Board has overruled an advisory committee's decision to ban a children's book on book banning, the USA Today Florida Network reports. Committee members said they did not like that the book called for rebellion.

Don't miss a story. Here is a link to yesterday's recap.

Before you go … Do you know the famous photo from 1968 in which the Earth rises behind the moon? The astronaut who took the photo died in a plane crash in Washington state. William Anders was 90 years old.

Anna Harden

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