Quite a few press releases went out after the Florida Senate killed the parent trigger bill on Tuesday. Here's a sampling.
Bob McClure, president and CEO of the James Madison Institute: "Many Florida parents whose children are assigned to a chronically failing school have been seeking better options. Unfortunately, the state Senate's failure to pass parent empowerment legislation has denied these parents a remedy that is already available in several other states. As a result, too many of Florida's children will be left behind in situations that stifle their academic growth and limit their future opportunities. Clearly the state has missed an opportunity to do what is in the best interest of these children. We hope that the Florida legislature will reconsider and choose to empower parents with the additional options necessary to provide their kids a fighting chance for a better future."
StudentsFirst Florida Director Nikki Lowrey: "Failing to pass the Parental Empowerment Bill means another year that hundreds of children in Florida will be trapped in schools that are failing them. Absolutely no parent should be forced to send their child every day into a failing school without a choice for finding a better education. Kids from low-income and minority families need a legislative solution to deliver equal access to the education they deserve, and this bill would have been that remedy. Despite this grim outcome, I would like to thank the legislators who stood boldly on their convictions for children, and supported this measure. StudentsFirst would also like to thank the thousands of parents, educators, and concerned citizens who made their voices heard in the face of hostile opposition. We pledge to stand tall beside them and demand equal access to a quality education for all of Florida's kids."
Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami: "As a teacher and advocate for our Florida students, I'm thrilled that Democrats and Republicans came together to bring this bill to a close."
Florida Education Association President Andy Ford: "The parent trigger measure is a political device created by venture capitalists looking to rapidly expand for-profit charter school chains. Major parent groups in Florida opposed this bill. This bill depends on professional lobbyists and outside forces to use marketing forces to persuade parents in a challenged school to transfer a valuable public asset from the jurisdiction of an elected school board into the hands of a corporation."
Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Florida's Future: "The choice today was simple, do you believe parents deserve a seat at the table or not. Senator Thrasher said it best, Parent Empowerment is about trusting parents. We are grateful for the 20 Senators and 68 House members who trust parents and voted to include them in the decision-making process on how to improve failing schools."