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Central Florida Lawmaker Makes Major Change to "Parent Trigger" Bill

April 12, 2013 | WMFE - A hotly-contested bill aimed at giving parents a say in the fate of failing schools passed its last state Senate committee Thursday...with one major change made by a Central Florida lawmaker. The amendment drew some rare bi-partisan support to the measure dubbed the "parent trigger bill."

One of the available choices is to turn the school over to a for-profit charter company, an option that has run into opposition from some Democrats, educators and parents’ groups who feel Florida’s public schools are getting short shrift. 

State Senator David Simmons' amendment, would let the local school board would make the final decision on the fate of the school, instead of the original State Board of Education. But, Simmons says, if the local board doesn’t go along with the parents choice, it owes them a detailed report.

“And it must have a public hearing to explain it," he says. "And I think that provides the amount of transparency that both sides of this argument should be satisfied with.”

Some supporters of school choice are less comfortable with the bill with Simmons’ amendment, and say it may have a harder time passing when it heads to the Senate floor with less State Board of Education involvement. But Simmons says some opponents of the bill feel better about keeping decisions about schools within their respective local communities.


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