Washington Post writer, Valerie Strauss pointed out the indefensible double-standard which Florida republican legislators operate when it comes to education policy. One statement in particular stood out to Strauss:
The Associated Press quoted Sen. Joe Negron, a Republican from Stuart, as saying “Let’s let parents decide. Parents are the first and best educators.”
Funny thing about that: The best-known parents the Florida Parent Teacher Association, which represents parent groups across the state, opposed the legislation, saying that public funds should go to public schools. Negron must not have meant those parents.
Republican senate lion John Thrasher offered similar sentiment on the floor during final debate and went so far as to say they shouldn’t even listen to parent groups who oppose them.
But the Negron statement is the latest example which shows that Jeb Bush-led republicans only find parents worthy if they choose as they are told to choose. Their contempt for Florida PTA parents was on display for everyone to see when House sponsor of Parent Trigger last year Rep. Carlos Trujillo dismissed them as “being there to do bake sales.”
Florida republicans never intended to listen to parents who don’t march in lockstep with their education privatization agenda and make political props of the one’s who do. Unlike public schools, they will drag charter school kids and voucher kids out of class to parade around the Tallahassee like trophies when one of their bills is up for debate. Selecting which parents you listen to and only celebrating students from your favored schools is to chose winners and losers in Florida schools.