Parent Trigger Half Cocked

Two sessions, two votes,. Two defeats... In back to back years the Florida Senate delivered the death blow to the parent trigger bill.

The latest came Tuesday.

“This bill is not needed. We have options for parents now,” said Sen. Geraldine Thompson.

Now a portion of the parent trigger bill is back, tacked on to charter school legislation in the Florida House.

“Is this an incentive for our school districts to put the most highly effective teachers in to those failing schools? Absolutely," said Rep. Michael Bileca.

House Democrats railed against the amendment.

"When this whole parent trigger bill first came about, we always said that there was something wrong with the evaluation," said Rep. Betty Reed.

The amendment would allow parents to receive a notice when their child has a teacher with an ineffective rating for two straight years. They could then remove their child from the teacher’s class.

“There seems to be a great focus on the teachers and less on the students. Members I think we need to be focused on the students,” said Rep. Janet Adkins.

A coalition of teachers in the House say the evaluation system is flawed, making the amendment dangerous.

“We can’t go ahead and say let’s figure out the bad teachers and not allow students in with them until we figure out for sure who the bad teachers are,” said Rep. Mark Danish.

Members voted.

The bill was placed on final passage. The bill has to be passed by the full House and then by the Senate. Lawmakers have about one day to get it done.


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