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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

New bill would give Florida parents more power over struggling schools



Gov. Rick Scott has talked since taking office about creating a "parent trigger" type law that would give parents the authority to request one of the state's approved school improvement options if their child's school is struggling academically.

Now he's got someone to carry the bill in the Legislature.

Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican who is vice chairman of the K-20 Competitiveness Subcommittee, on Tuesday filed HB 1191, nicknamed the Parent Empowerment Act, to hand such powers over to parents.

The bill would go even further than that, though. It also would require school districts to give parents the performance evaluation rating of any teacher to whom their child is assigned, upon request. The district also would have to notify parents if any of their child's teachers has two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement.

Should parents have such authority? Should the teacher evaluations be made so readily available? 

So far, the bill has no companion, and it has not been assigned to a committee. The session begins next week.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:57pm]


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