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Contentious “Parent Trigger” Bill Reaches Florida Senate


A controversial so-called "parent trigger" bill has passed the Florida House and is slated to go before the Senate. 

Designed to give parents of kids at poorly performing schools the right to petition the school or district to change the schools’ set-up, similar legislation was approved by the House last year but failed to pass the Senate by a slim margin. 

One of the choices that parents have is giving the school to a private management firm. To placate opponents, the bill was amended to give the local school district the final say.

Plus: Who is Failing Our Schools?

Many parent groups, such as the Florida PTA and Parents Across America, are against the legislation and say that it does not in fact give parents power. They and some legislators argue that it’s a sneaky way to transform public schools into charter schools, and that it will lead to private organizations taking over.

The bill proclaims "outside, for-profit companies as heroes," said Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, D-Maitland, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  "It’s about misleading the public."

Advocates such as education groups headed by Michelle Rhee and Jeb Bush as well as other legislators say that the bill does empower parents by giving them options about their kids’ schooling.

Plus: Public School vs. Private School

"I don’t see how more parent involvement can be a bad thing," said Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  Florida’s F-rated schools are "failing our students, they're failing our communities, they're maintaining the status quo at the expense of our children."

Do you think that the bill empowers parents, or is it better designed for corporate interests? Leave a comment