Statement from the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida on SB 862 — “Parent Trigger Bill”
The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida has announced its opposition to Senate Bill 862, also known as the Parent Trigger bill. The bill was introduced today in the Florida Legislature by Republican Senator Kelli Stargel of Lakeland.
“It’s disturbing that Senator Stargel is bringing back this destructive legislation, which was opposed by every parent group in Florida last year,” said Caucus President Susan Smith. “Parent Trigger is really a ‘parent tricker’ meant to deceive well-meaning parents into giving up local control of their neighborhood public schools.”
Parent Trigger is model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC
is a corporate-funded organization which produces model bills to promote policies that benefit its corporate members, often at the expense of the public. Parent Trigger legislation has been introduced in several state legislatures around the country.
This legislation, also known as “parent empowerment,” creates a process by which a majority of parents at a low-performing school (as defined by high-stakes tests) can sign a petition to trigger one of a narrow set of options. These options include firing all or some of the staff, turning the school over to a charter operator, or closing the school outright. This power currently resides with locally elected school boards.
“Charter schools, which are frequently run by for-profit management companies, have a poor track record in Florida,” said Smith. “If this bill were really about empowering parents, it would guarantee that parents remain in control after the trigger is pulled. This bill doesn’t do that.”
“The real motive behind this bill is to enrich charter management companies.”
The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida is a chartered caucus of the Florida Democratic Party.