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House passes parent trigger, too

Speaking of high-profile education bills in the House today...

The Parent Empowerment Act, more commonly known as the parent trigger, passed by a 80-34 vote.

The bill, HB 1191, would enable parents at low-performing schools to demand big changes. They could ask for new teachers and school leaders -- and in some instances, even petition to have a neighborhood school transformed into a charter school.

Advocates for the bill said it would give parents a seat at the table.

"It gives them the ability to be heard," said Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna. "It gives them that voice they need to make sure their children are receiving the best education possible."

Opponents, however, said the bill was meant to benefit charter school companies by giving them access to struggling neighborhood public schools. 

"The danger is that this could be used as another attack on public education," said Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach.

A coalition of grassroots education advocacy groups including the Florida Parent Teacher Association had opposed the bill, and lobbied hard against it.

The Senate version, SB 1718, is awaiting a last-minute hearing in the Budget Committee. 

Comments

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David J. Andrews

This bill puts power into the hands of the people who know their kids the best--the parents. Parents should most certainly have the right and means to lobby for changes at the local school level. This is a major step in the right direction by ensuring parents have a larger say in the future of our children. As the saying goes, mother knows best.

Gail Fay

I am in support of this bill. Its importanted, and as a parent I want to have the right send my children to a good school. Please urge congress to pass this bill.

Yoshika Green

I'm an educator who is in support of this bill. I think that parents should play a vital role in the decision making process for a low-performing school. Parents would not have the final say, but instead would be able to work collaborative towards a desired end to what hasn't worked for their child and his or her school.

Vikki

This bill will do nothing more than siphon off public money to for-profit corporate charter schools. It's bad public policy and it will have horrendous consequences.

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