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Foundation for Florida's Future tries to rally support for parent trigger

Is the contentious parent-trigger proposal in trouble?

Patricia Levesque, the executive director of former Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future, held a press conference Tuesday morning to "debunk myths" associated with the proposal.

She was accompanied by Pat DeTemple, a senior strategist for Parent Revolution, the group that helped create the law in California. Nikki Lowery, of former D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's organization, StudentsFirst, joined via telephone.

The so-called parent-trigger bill (SB 862, HB 867) would allow parents to demand sweeping changes at failing public schools, including having the school converted into a charter school. It would also prevent children in struggling schools from having a teacher deemed "ineffective" for two consecutive years. 

The bill has met resistance from the state Parent Teacher Association, grassroots parent groups, school districts and the teachers' union, who say it would enable for-profit charter-school management companies to take over traditional public schools. Democrats have voted against it at nearly every committee stop.

At the press conference, DeTemple rejected claims that the bill is part of "a vast conspiracy to privitize education in America."

"The noting that there is an army of charter-school operators out there ready to take advantage of this law flies in the face of facts," he said.

Levesque noted that under current law, parents can already petition for change. "The difference is, they would now have a legal seat at the table," she said.

After the press conference, the Florida Education Association's Jeff Wright questioned the Foundation's movites.

"Why are not parents from this state participating in this conversation?" Wright said. "We have parents in Florida... We don't need California or the Foundation's help."

Will the trigger bill become law this year?

The proposal has already won the support of three committees in the House, and will likely be heard on the floor next week. But it hasn't started moving in the Senate. 

The proposal is a top priority for Bush, who came to Tallahassee earlier this year to discuss it with lawmakers.

For more information, check out an earlier story here.


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No More Rick Scott

"In the days ahead, the special interests and those who support big government solutions will attack my budget. They don't recognize, as you and I do, these times require a bold new path," he said.

Said Orange County Republican Party Chairman Lew Oliver, "I think you have to be fairly dense to not conclude that the Scott administration wants to cement a relationship with the tea-party movement."



FL GOP Chairman Lenny Curry will not stand up for what is right. A lot of turmoil and churn in the RECs. He should ask for a vote of confidence from his members.

joe blow

Is Patricia Levesque still illegally funneling contributions to Jeb Bush's foundation to her shell company Meredian Strategies?
Several weeks ago it was reported she had funneled $800K to legislators for campaign contributions and travel perks.
This is in violation of IRS rules regarding political activity by non profits.
Where is the FDLE?

Donna Mace

If you live in Florida, understand that the parent trigger will only "empower" parents to sign a petition that will give all control of their school away to a corporation, most of which are for profit, so the new bottom line for that school will be dollars, not students. Much better options already exist for parents of children in "failing"schools". Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know in Florida. Thank you!


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