Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

Topics

Red graphite pencils leaning on stack of thick books

Everything You Need To Know About The "Parent Trigger"

Background

The so-called “parent trigger” bill was the most controversial piece of education legislation in Tallahassee this year.

On a 20-20 tie vote, the idea narrowly failed on the Senate session’s final day.

Advocates say it will be back next year. Opponents say the bill does not have the support of Florida parent groups, such as the PTA.

The bills, HB 1191 and SB 1718, allow a majority of parents at chronically failing schools to vote on a method to restructure their neighborhood school. California was the first state to approve the law, and dozens of other states have followed suit.

But what does a “parent trigger” do? And how does this bill work? And why do people support and oppose it?

We’ve got those answers covered.

  • The trigger kicks in after a school has earned a failing federal rating two years in a row, three in the House version.
  • At that point parents can opt for one of four options: Replacing the principal and adding professional training; replacing staff and administration; converting to a charter school; or closing the school.
  • Once parents choose an option, the school board can submit an alternative plan if they disagree. The state board of education would decide which plan would work best for students.
  • The bill also reiterates that parents can review a teacher’s evaluation a year after its completion. If a student has a teacher rated “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” in a subject, the student can not be placed in a low-performing teacher’s classroom for that same subject a second year.

The bill has come under fire from some education activists who argue the parent trigger would allow public school facilities to be turned over to charter schools and for-profit operators.

Latest Posts

Rhee Group Backing Off Florida Advocacy Efforts

Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee’s education advocacy group is scaling back its Florida efforts, Travis Pillow scoops for redefinED. StudentsFirst spokesman Lane Wright said Florida has already adopted many policies the group promotes, so they are focusing efforts elsewhere. That’s true. But, the group can’t exactly claim victory and walk off the field. StudentsFirst [...]

StudentsFirst Florida Adds New Staff, Including Former Gov. Scott Spokesman

Lane Wright, a former spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, is now handling press questions for StudentsFirst Florida.

Lane Wright, a former spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, is now working for the Florida arm of national education advocacy group StudentsFirst. Wright is one of a handful of personnel moves the group announced Wednesday, including hiring a state outreach director and field coordinators for Tampa and Orlando, and Miami. StudentsFirst was founded by former [...]

A Q & A With Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Nan Rich

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich.

Nan Rich is a former state Senator who was the first Democrat to announce she’s challenging Gov. Rick Scott in 2014. Rich stopped by the WUSF studios Wednesday for a Florida Matters interview with Carson Cooper. Here’s what she said about education. You can hear the full interview Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on WUSF. Q: [...]

Education And The 2013 Florida Legislative Session

Now that the Florida Legislature has wrapped up its regular session, pundits are weighing in on how education fared. Lawmakers added a billion dollars back into the education budget, which totals about $20 billion. But compromises were made. Some of the big issues were addressed Friday during the Florida Roundup on WLRN 91.3FM in Miami. [...]

Bennett Isn’t Backing Down To His Critics

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is a lightning rod for criticism — and he knows it. He had his share of critics in Indiana, where he lost his reelection as state superintendent last November. “We couldn’t overcome the rhetoric of the teachers unions and the undercurrent that they generated,” Bennett told The Huffington Post a day after [...]

How Parent Trigger Opponents Claimed #ParentEmpowerment As Their Own

5-3 CondescendingWonka

This week the controversial parent trigger bill died in the Florida Senate on a tie vote — for the second year in a row. Supporters quickly announced they wouldn’t give up on the bill, but their attempts to fire up an online campaign didn’t quite work out the way they planned.

Tweet That: Bush’s Foundation Not Giving Up On Parent Trigger Bill

The Foundation for Florida’s Future isn’t giving up on the parent trigger bill. They’re asking people to announce their support on Twitter and other social media with ready-made post to cut and paste. The bill — officially titled Parent Empowerment in Education — would give parents more power in choosing how to change a chronically [...]

Changes To Parent Trigger Not Enough, Bill Fails In Florida Senate

Update: It’s deja vu in the Florida Senate, where the parent trigger bill has gone down to defeat for the second year in a row on a 20-20 tie vote. The bill was expected to pass this year thanks to a new makeup in the Senate and some amendments that watered down the original version. [...]

With Senate Vote Near, Who Supports The Parent Trigger?

Questions have been raised about petition signatures submitted by StudentsFirst. The group was founded by former D.C. school chancellor Michelle Rhee and supports parent trigger laws around the country.

The session’s most controversial education bill — the parent trigger — hits the Senate floor today. The bill would allow the majority of parents at a school earning a failing grade to choose how to restructure the school. The options include closing the school, firing the principal or staff and converting to a charter school. [...]

Education Commissioner Suggested Senate Parent Trigger Change

Senators said they changed a key provision in the session’s most controversial education bill on the advice of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. Thursday a Senate panel approved the Parent Empowerment in Education bill, better known as the parent trigger bill. Members altered the bill to conform with the House version, which has already been approved [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education