In a packed committee room, parents and teachers stepped to the mike to voice their concerns over the bill at hand.
“This would pit parents versus teachers,” said teacher Donald Peace.
The legislation in question has been dubbed the Parent Trigger Bill. It would allow the parents of kids at a failing school to sign a petition to have the school turned over to a charter company. The petition would have to get signatures from a majority of parents.
In a House committee Tuesday morning, more than a dozen people waived their time in opposition to the bill. A dozen more chose to speak.
“We believe this is nothing more than a continued ploy to turn our schools over to for-profit companies,” said FEA Jeff Wright.
Only 1% spoke in favor of the bill; Lanetra Daniels who has three kids in the public school system.
“I believe that having parents who have an active say in their child’s education is needed,” said parent Lanetra Daniels.
The bill passed on a party line vote. After the vote we asked the bill’s sponsor if the legislation would allow charter companies to run big money campaigns to take over a school.
“For-profit charter schools are prohibited from spending money to influence parents under my bill. Parents are also prohibited from accepting gifts,” said Rep. Carlos Trujillo.
The parent trigger bill almost passed last session, but it died in the senate over concerns about would own the public buildings if charters schools took over.
If the parent trigger were in place right now, parents at 25 Florida schools could petition to have the school turned over to a charter company.