Saturday, May 26, 2018
Opinion

Education bill gives parents political power

Today, the Florida Senate will have an opportunity to vote on Senate Bill 1718, the Parent Empowerment Act. The recent reaction to giving moms and dads a greater voice and more meaningful role in an existing process confirms that many of us are far too comfortable with the status quo. I support this bill for three reasons.

One, it gives parents political power. The Parent Empowerment Act provides parents a platform to engage in discussions on how to improve their child's failing school and, most importantly, to provide leverage for these moms and dads to achieve real change. Currently, countless Florida parents are limited to sending their children to persistently failing public schools year after year. Moms and dads want to provide their child with a solid, quality education, one that will launch their son or daughter to achieve their dreams. The more involved a parent is in their child's education, the greater chance that child has to succeed. So why would we deny concerned moms and dads the right to engage in transforming a failing school?

Two, parental power actually works. In California, where the "parent trigger" was born, parents have used this law to successfully negotiate as equals with the school district and demand the programs and access to technology they see in schools with different ZIP codes. They seek real changes from their schools that will ensure a high quality education for their child; only once have they petitioned for a charter school.

Third, parent empowerment is a bipartisan issue. Today, as we are surrounded by partisan bickering on so many issues, on this issue we should all agree. The parent trigger movement is an example of Democrats and Republicans working together to empower moms and dads with information and tools to engage and invest in their child's schools, and Florida's Parent Empowerment Act is no exception. National and state Democrats from congressman George Miller to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa have voiced their support, along with African-American leaders. And the Florida House passed its bill with votes from both sides of the aisle.

This legislation doesn't hand over the keys of public education to any one person or entity. It gives parents a voice to demand for their kids the quality education each child deserves. This should be something we can all support.

Jeb Bush is the former governor of Florida and chairman of the Foundation for Florida's Future, a nonprofit that promotes education reform in Florida.

Comments
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

One of the worst ideas in a long time in the field of urban planning received a blessing this month when the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a project that calls for filling three acres of water insi...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Send out an Amber Alert for Adam Putnam. The red-haired, affable fellow who has served capably as a state legislator, member of Congress and agriculture commissioner is missing. In his place is a far-right caricature who has branded himself as a prou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Floridians are paying a steep price for a system that makes it as difficult as possible for people who leave prison to reintegrate into civic life. Gov. Rick Scottís clemency process isnít just archaic and cruel ó it also wastes enormous public resou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyangís nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Koreaís Kim Jong ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

The owners of the 32 National Football League teams sent a wrongheaded and, frankly, un-American message to their players Wednesday: Expressing your opinion during the national anthem is no longer permitted."A club will be fined by the League if its ...
Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

The rising tensions with Iran, the resurgence of violence in the Mideast and the uncertainty over a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea combine to create an unsettling time this Memorial Day. These grave threats to peace are another reminder of...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18