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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

A 'parent trigger' for Florida school families



Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made no secret of his desire to expand school choice options for parents and students. Even as he stepped back from his universal voucher proposal,  Scott stepped up his push for more charter schools, home school options and online education availability.

His informal education adviser Michelle Rhee also tipped off lawmakers of one more idea that's coming: More power for parents to change the way their school is run. She called it the "parent trigger," a nod to California's controversial but groundbreaking law that allows parents to petition for reforms at low-performing schools.

Rhee explained that the recommendation would be a simple word change. But it could have major impact on school operations.

The charter school law [1002.33 (3)(b)] would be altered to say that 50 percent of parents or teachers can vote to convert a traditional school to a charter, rather than 50 percent of parents and teachers. That's potentially even broader than the California law, which limits action to low performing schools. 

California's law is already under dispute, with that state Board of Education slowing its implementation at a recent meeting. Wonder what kind of reception Scott's proposal will get if and when it arrives.

[Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011 6:43am]


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