No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

“Parent Trigger” Bill Advances In Backdoor Victory for Charter School Lobby

| March 8, 2013

The trigger bill would give parents a voice on how to sunset failing schools. (Minato OE)

The trigger bill would give parents a voice on how to sunset failing schools. (Minato OE)

A House panel approved a measure Thursday that would give parents more of a say in how consistently underperforming schools are overhauled, reopening the divisive fight over the so-called “parent trigger” bill.

The House Choice and Innovation Subcommittee passed the bill (HB 867) on an 8-5, party-line vote.

Click On:

The measure would allow parents to petition their school board to adopt a specific turnaround option for any school that draws an “F” on state report cards for two straight years.

If a majority of parents were to sign the petition, the district would either have to implement the plan or submit both the parents’ plan and its own choice to the State Board of Education, which would then choose one of the proposals.

It’s the second try for supporters of the legislation after a similar bill died in the final days of the 2012 session, a victim to infighting in the fractious GOP majority in the Senate.

Eight Republicans broke ranks with party leadership and killed the bill on a tie vote, but five of those Republicans have since left the Senate — giving the measure better odds of passing the upper chamber.

Along the way, the bill became one of the most controversial measures of the 2012 session.

Supporters of the proposal say it will encourage parents to get more involved in their children’s education and improve chances for children trapped in failing schools.

“All this bill does is allow parents to have a voice … in what happens in perennially failing schools. And they deserve that right,” said Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover.

Opponents, though, are worried that politically savvy for-profit corporations could encourage parents to back the charter school option.

“It opens the floodgates for that industry to engage in a process that could privatize our schools,” said Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando. “And I think that’s terrifying.”


The debate over the bill also highlights the influence of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, an organization chaired by former Gov. Jeb Bush, on education policy in the state. Jeff Wright, the chief lobbyist for the Florida Education Association, told lawmakers that the bill was another part of the foundation’s agenda.

“It’s just one more so-called reform that the folks from the foundation want to check off their Florida list so they can market these reforms and the corporations that provide them to other states,” he said.

That drew a response from Patricia Levesque, the executive director of the foundation.

“The Foundation for Florida’s Future, as long as I’m working at that organization, will always, every single day spend our time working on behalf of making sure that every child in the state of Florida has the power of an education that allows that child to reach his or her God-given potential,” she said.

The bill still has two more committee stops before it reaches the House floor.

–Brandon Larrabee, News Service of Florida

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Responses for ““Parent Trigger” Bill Advances In Backdoor Victory for Charter School Lobby”

  1. confidential says:

    Yeah privatize all: prisons, schools, USPS, Police, Fire Services, Forestry and ultimately our own government “as we are labeled such incapable” for the sake of wealthy investors, as already our Federal government has being sold to private interest and the best bet for decades now!
    Lets go back to the 1910’s system where there was no middle class but only rich, poor and semi-slaves and even children labored other than attending school!
    We fought so hard back then to achieve what we have today, and we are being led to loose it all now!
    Look how brilliant and humane is our “current private” health service system, aren’t we all conservatives so proud of it!

  2. Legally says:

    New York is infested with unions who call the shots and rob almost .75% of every education dollar allocated. Chicago teachers STEAL .72 of every education dollar. This is extremely evident in New York because the schools are ghettos and 80% of the kids graduating high school can’t read at a college level. Parents should be more involved in their children’s education and NOT let a union decide their fate as there is a huge conflict of interest with unions, they are interested in the almighty dollar, NOT your child’s welfare and education.

  3. Regina says:

    I would rather have my children go to a better performing school than to back a school that has recieved two Failing grades with the state. I know a lot of people have turned to these new charter school but for the few good ones there at least 2 to 3 charter school that I feel are not to the standards in which I feel constitutes backing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Its amazing how some who can afford to send their kid to a privet school don not want the rest of us the same chance to send our kids to a better school. it also does have alot to due with unions wanting the $$ and power Government monopoly schools give them.

  5. Out of curiosity says:

    So Florida unions are the source of our education ills?

  6. Popo3984 says:

    Of course blame the unions as always if it wasn’t for unions we would all be working in sweat shops still

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive


support flaglerlive palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam
news service of florida

Recent Comments

FlaglerLive is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization | P.O. Box 254263, Palm Coast, FL 32135 | Contact the Editor by email | (386) 586-0257 | Sitemap | Log in