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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Like a bad penny the Parent Trigger returns to Florida (rough draft)

Friends when the Florida legislature and stalwarts like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio say they are for school choice what the really mean is they are for the corporate takeover of education. They aren’t for parents, they are for corporations making money off our children and if you want proof look at the parent trigger bill, the bill no parent supported.

In a nutshell the parent trigger bill would allow parents to petition to take over a school and give it to a charter management organization. Some of you might be thinking what’s wrong with that? If a school is failing something should be done. I don’t disagree but I also don’t think the answer is to take away local control and hand our kids fates over to an organization which often times is more concerned with the bottom line than educating our children. Furthermore it gives public assets away and effectively ends duly elected control of our schools. I may not always like or agree with my school board but I would rather them be in charge than some far off corporation. At least with an elected body my voice can be heard at the polls.

Also did I mention no parent group supported the bill? Let that sink in.

Apparently Senator Kelli Stargel, a you guessed it republican out of Lakeland thinks parents should have school choice whether they want it or not because she introduced legislation to bring the parent trigger bill back.

This bill is a little different as it says the school board can override the parents and pick either the turnaround (fire everybody) option or turn it over to a charter school and you know how districts love to give away their properties. However a provision in the bill says the state board of ed can override the district, something if you have been following the news they do quite regularly. Yeah I know there is nothing like far off bureaucrats, all appointed, telling the locally elected boards what to do. It turns out the republicans aren’t so keen on local control either.

Also did I mention no parent group supported the bill? You can also throw in school boards, teachers unions and even charter school operators: from the Orlando Sentinel, by Tia Mitchell, And we're hearing that even charter school operators themselves, the individual owners and mostly non-profit boards that run these schools, think “parent trigger” is a distraction as they push for more funding and resources for charter schools.

With this being the case it means this bill is pretty reviled, not that, that has stopped the state legislature from passing education legislation before.

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