How Parent Trigger Brought Chaos and Divided a California Community

Jeb Bush’s foundation paraded the professional organizers of Parent Revolution around the legislature this time last year to promote Parent Trigger. The California charter school-funded group got to spin their version of events in the two Parent Trigger fights in their state. They eventually prevailed in Adelanto, but at a cost Florida’s republican legislators and Bush’s foundations don’t folks to know about. Carlos Mendoza was chairman of the school board which was tasked with dealing with the signature application. He has given his blessing for me to use the comment he left in Gina Jordan’s StateImpact’s story on this year’s battle in Florida:

How quickly we forget. Parent trigger laws are not what you think. In Adelanto, parents wanted to remove their names from the petition because they felt mislead by the signature process strategy of signing two petitions. I was the board president when Parent Revolution – a lobbyist group – successfully bullied our small district in California with lawsuits to implement the Parent Trigger Law.
The judge ruled that the district could not allow parents to change their minds- even if they felt mislead. Parent Revolution is my biggest concern with the Parent Trigger Law. The Parent Empowerment Act of 2010 in California sounds great, but it is not a grassroots movement. Parent Trigger Laws are not coming from grassroots or a parent movement – they are coming from deep pocket lobbyists. These laws create division in the community to allow take over of schools. Parent Revolution has big backers and uses that might to prop up Parent Trigger. Without Parent Revolution – there would be no Parent Trigger. Privatizing public schools with taxpayer money is not the solution to what ails our school systems. With over twenty years experience as an educator, I have come to the conclusion that the free market private sector, without government funding, is where the solution will come from. I am promoting a radical 21st century change in education. What about you? http://coachlerningacademies.m……

One should wonder whether or not Parent Trigger’s cheerleaders in Florida would be shocked to learn that Mendoza is friendly to education privatization at the same time he sees the corruption of this tool intended to implement it. But his tale unmasks the strong-armed coercion it took for Parent Revolution to get their way. The faux choice group was clearly involved in the writing of this year’s bill with tricky wording included that essentially eliminates signature verification.

How long Parent Trigger’s sponsors, Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami) and Sen. Kelli Stargell (R-Lakeland) can dodge being challenged about what really happened in California is anyone’s guess. Jeb Bush gave a “shout out” to Parent Revolution at his DC Summit late last year. For him and the people who run his foundation to be ignorant of what happened in California isn’t believable.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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