Unique for Florida, that is.
What’s being called the parent trigger law is designed to give parents the right to change directions of consistently failing schools.
Basically, if a school has been failing for three years in a row, parents will have the option to vote on possible solutions to turn the school around.
Whether it means replacing teachers and staff, bringing in new programs or even converting to a charter school.
The experts, however, think parents are too stupid (uninformed) to make such decisions.
These are the same experts who insist on making criminals out of parents who try to get their children into better schools by using phony addresses.
Argument #1: Most parents aren’t involved in their children’s schools.
Users of that argument have obviously never attended a boundary meeting. Many parents may not show for PTA or Advisory meetings, but when a change to the school is on tap, they’ll show in droves.
Argument #2: Parents don’t have the where with all to make such decisions. It should be left to the School Board.
The reality is that most School Board members don’t have the where with all to make those decisions, either.
Sorry to break the news, but most School Board members are not professional educators and never have been. They only have the power to vote on recommendations by staff.
The same staff that hasn’t fixed the problem in the first place.
Those Board members who are professional educators have rarely been in a position to design educational programs making them little more expert in such matters than parents.
Argument #3: It violates home rule.
There’s no greater “home” in home rule than for the stakeholders (parents) to have a say in such decisions.
Their stake in the decision is the biggest of all.
As to the bill before the legislature, there’s only one major fault:
Only a simple majority vote is needed (50% +1) to choose a different path.
If choosing a new path is that important (it is) then the vote should be the same 60% that’s required to change the state constitution.
I would add one other proviso: Add a sunset provision for the law so the results can be reviewed before continuing.