Most observers say that Rep. Carlos Truillo (R-Miami) was bested by a handful of Florida democrat legislators in this week’s Parent Trigger debate in the House. Not only did opponents out number supporters – 23 people speaking in opposition with four in support – the suggestion arose as to just how small the number of parents there are clamoring for what’s called a parent empowerment bill. From James Cal’s story in the Florida Current:
Who are these parents?” asked Donald Peace, a Pasco County teacher with 32 years of experience. He told the committee there is a lack of parents attending school meetings and parent-teacher conferences.
“If these parents were involved in their children’s education it would probably not be a failing school,” Peace said.
Even Trujillo admitted that the turnaround provision is already mandated under federal law and went so far to say, “what happens if you vote against this today? The four mandated turnaround options are still in place.”
Even some of the republicans on the committee who were obliged to vote for the bill because leadership has labeled this as “must pass” have to ask to themselves why there are using political capital to do this?
Moreover, they know they have no argument when a democrat colleague on a charter school board, Mia Jones from Jacksonville, opposes the bill.
When asked whether HB 867 combined with Common Core standards would create investment opportunities for the charter school industry, Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville said she is opposed to the trigger out of fear that for-profit companies will invest in marketing campaigns to transform traditional public schools into money-making opportunities.
“If they can get the system moving in the direction they want to move in. Put everything in place so that it appears that all we have done is create an option, an opportunity to do something — (where they say) ‘We’re just going to come in and be white knights and put these things in place,’” Jones said. “I don’t want to move in that direction.”
Reality is not charter school propaganda films like Waiting for Superman and Won’t Back Down. But Florida republican legislators are force-fed this nonsense and instructed to ignore the chaos the ripped a California community apart when Parent Trigger actually was unleashed.
Some republicans must be wondering why they are taking all the heat as the senate bill still lies dormant. Meanwhile they face another beat down in tomorrow’s full hearing in the Education Committee.