Florida’s Parent Trigger Bill Heads to the Floor

The controversial school reform bill seeks to leverage the power of frustrated parents to overhaul schools.

By Julianne Hing Feb 16, 2012

The enormously popular and yet controversial parent trigger law is on the move in Florida. The House Education Committee approved the state’s Parent Empowerment Act with an 11-6 vote today, the [Miami Herald](http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/02/parent-empowerment-act-headed-to-house-floor.html) reported. The bill’s next stop is the House floor. The bill would allow parents with kids enrolled in a school with poor test scores to file a petition to restructure their children’s school. Rep. Michael Bileca, a Republican from Miami, was unable to win Democratic support; the vote fell along party lines. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already expressed his support for the bill. Parent trigger laws are relatively new, but are quickly being adopted by school reformers across the country. Since California passed its parent trigger in 2010, three other states–Mississippi, Texas and Connecticut passed their own versions of the law. New York, Pennsylvania and Indiana are also debating their own parent trigger laws this year. Despite its rapid explosion onto the state policy scene, it remains an intensely heated topic of debate among parents, teachers, and school reformers. In Adelanto, California, a group of parents is exercising the law for just the second time in its history. [Read more](http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/02/adelanto_calif_–_seated_in.html) about the controversy as its unfolding in the small desert town by clicking [here](http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/02/adelanto_calif_–_seated_in.html).