April 2, 2013
The following opinion was shared on the Florida Public Employees facebook page. As such, it shares the views public employees across the State of Florida.
By: Mike Putkowski
Bill Sponsor: Senate Bill 862 by Senator Kelli Stargel
Why would Senator Stargel bring back Parent Trigger legislation after the fight that took place last year? Over the past two legislative sessions, then Representative Stargel filed bills looking to grade parents on their school involvement, sending home a Parent Report Card. Does Senator Stargel now feel parents are involved enough to “empower” them to close a school?
This year’s Parent Trigger bill is the same bad scheme made worse. One “turnaround” option the bill proposes is handing over a neighborhood school to a private corporation with no guarantees for a better alternative.
… The Parent Trigger bill robs Florida taxpayers of a significant capital investment. For-profit charters do not answer to any elected official and are allowed to have board members or owners of the charter reside in other states and countries.
Who are Florida’s politicians pushing this bill for if parents are opposed to it?
The Parent Trigger pits parents against parents in the petition process.
Provides multiple opportunities for virtual vendors to market and lobby parents.
Dilutes local School Board control as the state Board of Education ultimately makes the final decision on the turnaround option.
Ignores existing statute (law) that already gives School Advisory Councils, consisting or parents, teachers, and community partners, the ability to determine the direction of an underperforming school through the individual School Improvement Plan.
Promotes for-profit charter takeover to a failing school. A school can be converted to one or more charter schools.
This sums up the bill….. Not a good idea for Florida!!!!!
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