Politics
6:48 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Jeb Bush Is Sticking To His Guns On Parent Trigger Bill

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:47 pm

The Foundation for Florida’s Future isn’t giving up on the parent trigger bill. They’re asking people to announce their support on Twitter and other social media with ready-made post to cut and paste.

The bill — officially titled Parent Empowerment in Education — would give parents more power in choosing how to change a chronically failing school.

But it died this week, just as it did last year, in a 20–20 tie vote in the Senate.

The foundation, an education policy organization founded by former Gov. Jeb Bush, sent an email today with the subject line: “We will not ignore parents.”

From the email:

20 Florida senators and 68 representatives trusted Florida parents and voted to include them in the decision-making process on how to improve failing schools. But in the end, politics won out over parents.

Moms and dads who supported parent empowerment were told over and over again – by lawmakers and by the media – they do not exist. But their voices are just as important and just as meaningful as the voices of those in organizations who opposed this bill.

It then links to a video criticizing the defeat of the bill. The video features interviews with parents and footage from legislative committees where parents testified in favor of the bill.

The email encourages supporters to share the “message using ready-made posts.”

  • So many were behind #ParentEmpowerment this year and we’re thanking those who helped: http://bit.ly/11CUOkA#Sayfie
  • Parents, we’ll continue to work to make sure you’re not ignored: http://bit.ly/11CUOkA#Sayfie #ParentEmpowerment

Much of the parent trigger debate has focused on just how many Florida parents support the bill. A coalition of parent groups, including the PTA, opposed the bill and said it was being pushed by out-of-state interests.

Parent trigger supporters submitted a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, but some people whose names were on the petition said they didn’t sign it. A spokesman for StudentsFirst, the group which submitted the petition, said the petitions are legitimate because they logged the Internet addresses of the computers used to sign the petition.

Meanwhile, a video by a group called Sunshine Parents was actually produced by California-based Parent Revolution.

The session may not be a total loss for parent trigger supporters.

One provision of the failed bill was tacked onto a charter school bill that passed the Florida House today and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott. (The bill puts accountability measures in place for charters and makes it easier for charters to expand.)

The provision would prevent students from having teachers two years in a row in the same subject who are rated less than effective.

After the bill passed, the foundation tweeted:

The same bill also calls for a delay in Common Core assessments until all districts have the technology needed for implementation.

Copyright 2013 StateImpact Florida. To see more, visit http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/.