The parent trigger bill is back in the Florida Legislature this year and, judging by the spirited 8-5 party line vote it got in its first committee stop Thursday, perhaps as contentious as ever. But unlike last year, some Florida parents and child advocates not only voiced support, but drove to Tallahassee to tell lawmakers in person.
Former Marion County teacher Karen Francis-Winston trekked 200 miles from Ocala with her daughter to testify in favor of the bill sponsored by Republican Reps. Michael Bileca and Carlos Trujillo.
Pastor Alfred Johnson came from Tampa,where he said he serves a low-income community.
“I don’t understand what’s the matter with empowering parents to make a recommendation,’’ he told the Choice & Innovation Subcommittee. “We’re doing nothing but recognizing they have a voice, a say in the process.’’
House Bill 867, with an identical version filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, allows parents with children in an F-rated school to petition the school district to consider a turnaround plan that could include bringing in a charter school operator. The petition would need signatures from a majority of parents.