Rick Scott’s a Sitting Duck on Parent Trigger

Rick Scott has not yet earned the trust of Florida public school teachers and advocates. His increase in funding last year was only a return to the level he cut the year before and his failure to admit as much continues to be a drag on his credibility. Scott’s  proposal to raise teacher salaries can only been considered as a cynical political ploy unless it emerges without any legislative merit pay strings attached.

Like other republican rock star governors who were on board with Jeb Bush’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS) gambit, he was blindsided by the sudden  and vigorous opposition from the RNC and conservative media giants like Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck. It will have wide-ranging ramifications for future policy decisions – including Parent Trigger.

You can be sure that Scott is aware of the affects that implementation of CCSS will have on the state’s schools. At the Florida Council of 100’s Summit on Common Core held in February, top charter school lobbyist Jim Horne warned “don’t disappear into the bushes when the bullets start flying.” Horne’s metaphorical bullets will be represented by the increase in the number of failing schools that will result from the first round of CCSS tests.

While Florida legislators are attempting to reassure everyone that only a few schools would be affected by Parent Trigger, Scott is aware that CCSS will be increasing that number by as much as 125. Consider this simple, cryptic response he gave the editors of  Sun Sentinel editorial board this week on Parent Trigger.

Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett has expressed his concerns, and I want to let that process go through. I have not seen a final bill.

Unlike last year, Scott has kept silent on Parent Trigger. He’s left the heavy lifting this year to Jeb Bush’s  foundation. It is Bush who has more to lose in the event the Senate rejects it again and it’s doubtful Scott would shed a tear if it happens. Florida’s current governor has had to take considerable heat for things Bush controls. The republican-dominated legislature and the majority of the state board will always be more loyal to Bush than Scott. It’s furthermore noteworthy that the two education commissioners that have served under Scott have been on the list of Bush’s Chiefs for Change. Even employees a the FLDOE are more loyal to Bush as his foundations promise top dollar future employment.

Scott is a sitting duck on Parent Trigger and loses if the bill ever reaches his desk. If he signs the bill, he will get the blame for the “bullets that start flying.” If he vetoes it, he gets the Charlie Crist treatment and will have to face a primary challenge next summer from a candidate hand-picked by Bush.



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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2 Responses to Rick Scott’s a Sitting Duck on Parent Trigger

  1. Ro says:

    Personally, I think Jeb is losing his street cred amongst national Republicans…it’s how much do FLorida Republicans want to suck up to this non elected control freak.

  2. Pingback: Rick Scott’s a Sitting Duck on Parent Trigger ← NPE News Briefs

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