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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida a "temporary setback" for parent trigger, chief proponent says



Debate over Florida's parent trigger legislation, which failed in the state Senate, stirred up debate that centered largely on the role of charter schools in the state. Former California state Sen. Gloria Romero, a Democrat, writes for that the arguments mystified her.

"Given that Florida already has many charter schools, I find it baffling why allowing parents access to this option was so threatening to the education establishment," Romero wrote.

She expected that the outcome in Florida will not be the final word on the parent trigger.

"Just look around the country at how parents are standing up, sadly in some cases even going to jail, for the right to educate their children," Romero wrote. "A Connecticut mother led the movement to pass the country’s second Parent Trigger Act. Parental empowerment groups may have made their first splash in the water in California, but they are appearing across the nation at an increasing pace, demanding to reclaim the authority and responsibility for their children’s education." is a blog for the Step Up for Students organization that operates Florida's corporate tax credit scholarship program, and is highly supportive of school choice. Ron Matus, formerly of the Tampa Bay Times and the Gradebook, demonstrates that stance clearly with a second parent-trigger post critical of the rhetoric that the most active parent organizations used to attack the bill.

"There’s no doubt that if one of the biggest newspapers in Florida suggested that the savvy, passionate, well-meaning parents behind the Florida PTA, Parents Across America and Fund Education Now had been “sweet talked” into their opposition by the teachers unions and the Democratic Party — and let’s face it, the links between those groups are obvious — they’d be ripped to shreds.

"But somehow, critics of the trigger bill could suggest something similar about low-income parents, again and again, and not get called on it. And it is hard to miss that many of these are parents of color, and that few, if any, were part of the public face of the opposition."

Anyone think the parent trigger won't be back next year?

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 8:49am]


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