House passes parent trigger

The Florida House approved the controversial parent-trigger proposal Thursday, setting the stage for a showdown in the Senate. If the storyline sounds familiar, there’s a reason: The bill, which would enable parents at low-performing schools to demand sweeping changes in how the school is run, won the support of the Republican-dominated House last year. The narrative may have a different ending this time. Last year, the parent trigger died in the more moderate Senate. This year, the lawmaker shepherding the proposal in the upper chamber says she is counting on more support. “What happened last year was more political than about policy,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. The parent trigger bill would let parents convert struggling traditional schools into charter schools, or even demand the school be closed. The House version also prevents children at failing schools from having ineffective or out-of-field teachers for two consecutive years. Supporters, including former Gov. Jeb Bush and former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, have said the measure would allow parents to play a larger role in local schools. But the Florida PTA, a coalition of grassroots parent groups, school districts and the state teachers’ union have fought the bill, saying it does little more than enable for-profit charter school management companies to cannibalize struggling schools. They point to California, where a similar law has prompted bitter court battles. The result has been a knock-down, drag-out that’s divided Democrats and Republicans in Tallahassee. On Thursday, all 44 House Democrats voted against the bill. They were joined by seven Republicans: Reps. Halsey Beshears, of Monticello; Mike Fasano, of New Port Richey; Tom Goodson, of Titusville; Ed Hooper, of Clearwater; Travis Hutson, of Elkton; Holly Raschein, of Key Largo; and David Santiago, of Deltona. Rep. Carlos Trujillo, the Miami Republican sponsoring the bill, said he didn’t know why the seven had voted against his bill, but added that he wasn’t disappointed.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/04/3324049/parent-trigger-bill-approved-by.html

“I’m glad everybody has read the union’s talking points,” Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, the bill’s sponsor, told Democrats. “But most of your comments have nothing to do with the bill.” Several Democrats lashed out at the legislation, saying it manipulates parents with children in failing schools into thinking they are gaining more control with authority to petition school boards for change. “When the trigger is pulled, the only people with a voice are private management companies,” said Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa. “I urge you to support our public schools and vote against this bill.” “We’re disappointed that the Florida House chose to ignore the voices of Florida parents, teachers and school administrators and pass this deceptive bill,” said FEA President Andy Ford. He added, “It’s all about creating an easy pathway so that for-profit charter operators can coerce parents into handing over our neighborhood public schools.”

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/florida-house-bolsters-charter-school-growth-over-/nXC8T/

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FL_XGR_PARENTAL_TRIGGER_FLOL-?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-04-04-18-37-59 (Andy Ford quoted)

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/blogs/school-zone/os-parent-trigger-bill-passes-florida-house-20130404,0,7569305.post

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32288587

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32110668 (Jeff Wright quoted)

 

Misguided school-choice reform will backfire on kids

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-frontburner-parental-trigger-con-20130404,0,4192022.story

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/04/05/florida-passes-charter-corporation-enrichment-bill/

 

Even in victory, Trujillo misrepresents opposition to parent trigger (Jeff Wright mentioned)
http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/even-in-victory-trujillo-misrepresents-opposition-to-parent-trigger/

 

And speaking of misinformation, Jeb’s foundation weighs in
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-frontburner-pro-20130404,0,1249863.story

 

House passes charter transparency bill

A sweeping charter school bill passed the Florida House on Thursday after its sponsor agreed to amend it so that traditional public schools do not have to give charter schools access to their unused space.  Rep. George Moraitis, R- Fort Lauderdale, said he agreed to the changes to get new accountability measures in place. HB 7009 would allow high-performing charter schools to increase their enrollment without approval of the local school district, but Moraitis stressed his intent is to increase financial transparency. It includes a provision inspired by the closing of a Central Florida charter high school. The principal of North Star Charter High School walked away with a $519,000 payout when the school was closed because of poor performance. Although charter schools use public money, there are few regulations governing how money is spent. A state auditor general report on 2011 audits found that about a third of the state charters had accounting problems or violations. The House passed the measure 87-29.  Its companion measure, SB 1282 is waiting to be heard in the Judiciary Committee.

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32288178

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=31900153

 

Bills to change Florida teacher evaluations move ahead

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/bills-to-change-florida-teacher-evaluations-move-ahead/2113132

 

Several education bills win partial approval

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/several-education-bills-win-partial-approval/2113240

 

The racket with standardized test scores

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/02/1198597/-Eugene-Robinson-The-racket-with-standardized-test-scores

 

Orange teachers union certification back in order (Diana Moore quoted)
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/blogs/school-zone/os-blog-orange-teachers-union-certification-back-in-order-20130404,0,4035157.post

 

Attorney: Port Canaveral cash can't aid Brevard schools

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130405/NEWS01/304050045?source=nletter-top5

 

State inspector general to investigate Lee superintendent

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/apr/04/state-inspector-general-to-investigate-lee/

 

School funds could be used to pay up to $1 million to Manatee district

http://www.bradenton.com/2013/04/05/4468758/school-funds-could-be-used-to.html

 

Bill would overhaul online courses

The Florida House on Thursday approved legislation that would expand online learning for public school students. Supporters say they want to shake up the “semi-monopoly” on state-approved online courses enjoyed by Florida Virtual School, allowing other providers -- including school districts themselves -- to offer online courses to students anywhere in the state. They say they want to remove the boundaries that limit course offerings across school district lines. They also want to allow school districts to experiment with online-centric learning models like the “flipped classroom” in which students watch online lectures at home, at their own pace, and then come to class to do hands-on work with their teachers. The bill that passed the full chamber on an 82-37 floor vote would overhaul the state’s funding and regulation of online courses. Some Democratic lawmakers objected to provisions that would allow providers without a physical presence in the state to operate online classes that receive state funding. “I don’t think this is about embracing technology. I think this is about embracing money,” said state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. He added the bill “probably is going to benefit for-profit companies and out-of-state schemers to outsource our education and our jobs to who-knows-where.”

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20130405/POLITICSPOLICY/304050035/Bill-would-overhaul-online-courses

 

Troubled low-income tutoring program could see changes

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/troubled-low-income-tutoring-program-could-see-changes/2113272

 

House passes cyberbullying bill

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32289907

 

Bill advances that would revamp high school athletics overseer

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32284679

 

Law could mean sharp drop in Bright Futures recipients

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-bright-futures-changes-2-20130404,0,5103793.story

 

Brogan: No winners on FAU “Owlcatraz” deal

http://www.postonpolitics.com/2013/04/university-system-chancellor-frank-brogan-on-fau-owlcatraz-deal-no-winners/

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/04/02/1809321/private-prison-pulls-funding-for-college-football-stadium-naming-rights/

 

Essay-grading software offers professors a break

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/science/new-test-for-computers-grading-essays-at-college-level.html

 

Bills rise, bills fall as Legislature passes session midpoint

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32285482

 

Is bipartisanship breaking down in the Legislature?

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2013/04/is-bipartisanship-breaking-down-in-the-legislature.html

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/403455/matt-dixon/2013-04-04/weatherford-hits-back-dems-not-voting-houses-budget-i-hope

 

House votes to block local sick-pay, wage protections

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-local-sick-leave-ban-20130404,0,7265332.story

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/04/04/florida-house-targets-employees-in-new-bill/

 

The lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America

http://www.thenation.com/blog/173658/lack-paid-sick-leave-unhealthy-america

 

Florida on verge of a better voting system

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-florida-on-verge-of-a-better-voting-system/2112692

 

Taxpayers deserve straight numbers on incentives

http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-editorials/taxpayers-deserve-straight-numbers-on-incentives-b82472363z1

 

1.7 million Floridians could get assistance to buy health insurance

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/17-million-floridians-could-get-assistance-to-buy-/nXC3H/

 

Three years after BP oil spill, USF research finds massive die-off

http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/water/gulf-oil-spill-killed-millions-of-microscopic-creatures-at-base-of-food/2113157

 

Environmental groups reach signature threshold for conservation amendment

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/04/environmental-groups-reach-signature-threshold-for-conversation-amendment.html

 

Carroll talks about her resignation

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=32289682

 

Jobless rate falls to 7.6 percent

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/business/economy/us-adds-only-88000-jobs-jobless-rate-falls-to-7-6.html

 

To create jobs, the federal government must spend

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-papadimitriou-deficit-spending-20130405,0,2571815.story

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/opinion/Krugman-The-Urge-To-Purge.html

 

Obama budget to include cuts to social programs in hopes of deal

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/us/social-programs-face-cutback-in-obama-budget.html

 

Tax dodging by corporations and the wealthy cost each taxpayer $1,026 in 2012

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/04/04/1822581/tax-dodging-by-corporations-and-the-wealthy-cost-each-taxpayer-1026-in-2012/

 

Self-sacrifice is all the rage as federal furloughs loom

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/us/politics/as-federal-furloughs-loom-administration-and-congressional-officials-take-pay-cuts.html

 

Republicans criticize government spending unless it lowers our wages

http://blog.ourfuture.org/20130404/republicans-criticize-govt-spending-unless-it-lowers-our-wages

 

Path to citizenship divides Congress and, polls show, confuses country

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/us/politics/in-immigration-reform-path-to-citizenship-divides-and-confuses.html

 

The sinking American electorate: Young and in peril

http://blog.ourfuture.org/20130405/the-sinking-american-electorate-young-and-in-peril

 

 

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