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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush phones Senators to pass parent trigger



Apparently, the parent trigger bill means a lot to former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush, who now oversees two foundations dedicated to education reform, reached out to Senators before the controversial vote Friday afternoon. 

One particular target: Alan Hays, the Umatilla Republican. 

Hays voted against the proposal, which failed 20-20. But after the vote, the pressure continued. Bush had Gary Lester, vice president of the Villages retirement community in Hays district, phone the senator to ask him to reconsider his vote, sources said.

It was unclear what Hays planned to do.

The parent trigger bill would enable parents to demand sweeping changes at low-performing public schools, including having the school converted into a charter school. Supporters say it would empower parents to take charge of their neighborhood schools. But opponents say the bill was written to benefit for-profit school management companies.

-- Marc Caputo and Kat McGrory 

[Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 7:27pm]


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