TALLAHASSEE - Feb. 29, 2012 -
Yesterday, the Parent Trigger law took a big step forward in the Sunshine State as members of the Florida Senate Appropriations committee gave bipartisan support to the bill, voting 4-3 in support of the Parent Trigger legislation. This most recent committee action follows as the Parent Trigger legislation received bipartisan support in both the Florida House education subcommittee and the Senate education committee. Now the bill will be heard before both the Florida Senate and House floors.
The Parent Trigger legislation, introduced by Representative Michael Bileca and Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, was originally developed in California but takes on a number of new provisions, developed through bipartisan collaboration that ensures protections for parents and their local schools. Lawmakers have repeatedly worked across the aisle and included significant oversight to ensure that parents are protected and that the Parent Trigger process fosters collaboration between parents and their schools.
Some of these provisions include:
· Introducing a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” which prevents students from having an underperforming teacher two years in a row, and;
· An elegant check–and–balance system that if the district tries to reject the parents petition, the parents have a right to appeal to the State Board of Education.
“Today, parents secured an important victory in Florida for parent power,” said Shirley Ford, Parent Revolution organizer. “The Parent Trigger gives parents – for the first time ever – real power to transform their children’s failing schools through community organizing. Florida, the fourth largest state in the nation, took one step closer today towards opening a new chapter in education reform by giving parents real power over the educational destiny of their children.”
Unfortunately, despite these collaborative, bipartisan efforts, the Florida Education Association decided to go “all in” to oppose parent power, spreading the numerous lies and misinformation that have been spread since day one in the parent empowerment fight. FEA even went so far as to threaten the legislators with legal action if the legislation follows.
This monumental step forward in Florida happened as Desert Trails Parent Union parents announced evidence of potential fraud by the California Teachers Association (FEA’s affiliate) in California’s Parent Trigger campaign.