From Mary Ellen Klas in the Miami Herald:
With a close vote expected Thursday on the proposal to allow parents at chronically low-performing schools to close the school or convert it to a charter school, a key senator is drafting a compromise that would phase in the so-called “parent trigger” on a pilot basis.
The proposal, being drafted by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, would allow parents to demand a turn-around plan if their school is deemed an F-school for the second year in a row. The proposal, which has not yet been filed, could potentially apply only to the 21 current public schools that received an “F” grade this year and 17 private charter schools that are also deemed failing.
Instant skepticism is present in Klas lede. “Phased in as a pilot program” is a non-starter, as Florida voters know these to just be temporary man behind the curtains. But Latvala’s clearly attempting to get YES votes on Parent Trigger, and his statements yesterday indicate that he, too, is against the bill. And most notably, Latvala dispatches with the Patricia Levesque-Parent Revolution narrative that opposition to the legislation are starting “conspiracy theories” and advancing “outright lies.”
“I think we should not ignore these F-schools but, by the same token, I don’t support taking over public schools by the commercial charter school industry,’’ Latvala told the Herald/Times on Wednesday.
The language in Latvala’s amendment goes further toward throwing more dirt on parent trigger’s paid mouthpieces:
Latvala said his compromise would include several restrictions on attempts to use the failing schools to organize new charter schools, he said.
It would “outlaw any remuneration for anyone who signs or collects signatures, outlaw for-profit charter schools from being involved in any petition solicitation” and would clearly define who can vote – parents whose children are leaving the school would be prohibited from voting while parents whose children are coming into the school would be allowed to vote, he said.
Latvala even heads off today’s line of attack by senate supporters for parent trigger who are responding in emails “to let them know” of any trigger turnover schools which have been taken over by for-profit charters. Latvala is telling Floridians that the intent by for-profit charter groups is real and needed to be addressed in the legislation.