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Lawmakers to hammer out budget issues, deliberate parent trigger this weekend

We're headed into the last week of session, and lawmakers are working overtime. This weekend, they'll tackle two big issues:

Budget chairs from both chambers will deliberate the financial fate of several high-profile appropriations bills. On the radar are tuition hikes, the closure of several state prisons, and possible cuts to the section of the budget that funds the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families, Elder Affairs, Veterans Affairs and the Agency for Health Care Administration.

The Parent Empowerment Act, which would enable parents at low-performing schools to demand big changes, is scheduled for a hearing in Saturday's Senate Budget Committee. SB 1718, known as parent trigger, would empower parents to demand different teachers and school leaders--and in some cases, petition to have a neighborhood school turned into a charter school. It's the bill's last stop before the Senate floor.


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The Parent Empowerment Act that passed the Florida House yesterday and is set for a Senate vote today. This bill will have a devasting impact for public schools in impoverished areas. It basically permanently ends a free public education for inner city residents or any neighborhood with an F school. The Florida PTA opposed it. It was imported from California by corporate ed reformers Michelle Rhee and Jeb Bush under the guise of a group called Parent Revolution. This bill allows 51 percent of parents to sign over an F rated public school to a charter company-permanently! When the house tried to add a clause to allow the parents to sign a petition turning the charter back into a public school it was voted down. Most of the F schools are located in impoverished areas where parents can be easily bribed or duped into signing over their public school. Charter schools are now charging students fines for minor misbehavior like chewing gum. This week the Florida Board of Education along with the Florida Legislature effectively ended free public education in Florida. They changed the school grading formula to ensure more F schools. Next, they pass a law allowing parents to hand over their F school to a charter. Any legislator who voted for this needs to be swept from public office. Join the facebook group Florida Parents and Educators for Legislative Change to help impact the election next fall.

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