Actually, doesn’t ‘parent trigger’ have a better chance of passing this year?

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Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Senator Kelli Stargel has filed a bill that would allow parents at failing schools to choose a turnaround strategy for the school by signing a petition. One option, of course, is to convert the school into a charter school. This is known as the “parent trigger.”

Mitchell’s assessment is that  advocates are taking another stab at what they prefer to call the “parent empowerment” law is because last year’s tie vote that killed the bill was partially blamed on in-fighting among Republican senators. However, there has since been turnover in both chambers with Democrats gaining seats, making “parent trigger” an even tougher battle this session.

I disagree with Mitchell’s assessment. Sure, the Democrats have gained seats, but moving up weight-classes from “oblivion” to “irrelevant” does not make passing “parent trigger” any more difficult.

In fact, I’d argue that this is an issue of addition by subtraction; without Paula Dockery, Mike Fasano or Dennis Jones in the Senate, the chances of “parent trigger” are improved, especially when you consider Dockery has been replaced by the sponsor of the “parent trigger” bill. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.