CONTACT: MICHELLE DeMARCO
SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHRIS SMITH, SENATOR DWIGHT BULLARD CONDEMN RENEWED PARENT TRIGGER ATTEMPT
TALLAHASSEE – Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) and Senator Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) on Tuesday condemned renewed attempts by corporate interests to turn over Florida’s public schools to large for-profit management companies.
“We should focus our efforts on improving public schools, not giving up on them by handing the keys to a for-profit corporation,” said Senator Smith. “Our teachers, our children, and our public schools are not for sale.”
At issue is SB 862 filed Tuesday by Republican Senator Kelli Stargel. The legislation mirrors the “Parent Trigger” bill backed last year by right wing groups and former Governor Jeb Bush which was defeated in the Senate.
The highly contentious “parent empowerment” legislation would allow a failing public school to be turned over to a private, for-profit charter management company upon the collection of 51% of parents’ signatures – the “trigger” component. Legislation similar to SB 862, originally enacted in California, proved to be extremely divisive, pitting parent against parent.
“This year’s bill much like last year’s bill has once again failed to get input from our parents and students from around the state. Parent Revolution and Sen. Stargel are once again trying to use a California fix for a Florida problem that does not exist,” Sen. Bullard said.