Supporters Speak on Parent Trigger Bill

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 26, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Patricia Levesque with the Foundation for Florida's Future, says there's a number of misconceptions of the Parent Empowerment Bill, also called the Parent Trigger Bill.

One of the biggest misconception, she says, is that the bill allows for-profit companies to take over Florida's public schools.

Levesques says, "I think it's nonsense. That's not what the bill is for. What the bill does is give parents of kids of failing schools a seat at the table so they can help make a recommendation to the school board on how the school board should intervene with that failing school."

There has to be 50 percent of parents, plus one, to recommend how a school board should turn their child's failing school around.

Levesque says that's more of a legal standing than a parent just speaking at a school board meeting.

"That's what the bill is about--empowering parents." Says, Levesque.

Supporters also debunk the myth that the Parent Trigger Bill makes it easier for charter schools to expand.

They say that's not true because the existing process for charter schools is easier than the one involved in the bill.

Patrick DeTemple with Parent Revolution, says, "The real success of the Parent Trigger Law will not be through charter conversion at all. But, it will be through using the Parent Trigger Law as leverage to get the districts to improve and do the job they need to be doing."

The bill also includes a provision that ensures that students are assigned to an effective teacher at least every other year.

The Florida School Boards Association recently approved a resolution that opposes any Parent Trigger initiatives.

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