Parents, State and Business Leaders Endorse More Parental Involvement in Schools

Parents, State and Business Leaders Endorse More Parental Involvement in Schools

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For Immediate Release                                                                               

Tuesday, January 24, 2012                                                                                        


Contact: Jaryn Emhof



Parents, State and Business Leaders Endorse More Parental Involvement in Schools

HB 1191 & SB 1718 Empowers Parents with Knowledge and Tools to Actively Participate in their Child’s Education


Tallahassee, FL – Today, House and Senate Leaders; the Parent Revolution, which represents thousands of parents across the country; and representatives from the Foundation for Florida’s Future; The Florida Chamber of Commerce; Associated Industries of Florida; Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options; and Students First joined together to support empowering Florida parents with more information and tools to be actively involved in their child’s education. 


“Educators constantly express an interest in getting parents more involved in education,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “This bill empowers parents by giving them a seat at the table.  Parents have only one motive, and that is love for their children. By empowering parents, this bill opens the door to a whole new level of communication between parents and the schools.”


“"Parent Trigger is an historic new right for parents to transform their failing schools through community organizing,” said Shirley Ford, Senior Organizer of Parent Revolution. “Parents throughout California, where the law was first passed, are using the Parent Trigger as a bargaining chip with district bureaucrats to force the defenders of the status quo to transform failing schools rooted in what’s good for kids and not the interest of powerful adults. Parent Trigger isn't just a new law but a new paradigm. It is a new way of thinking about public education. This isn't about charters vs. unions but it is about giving parents power over the educational destiny of their own kids."

Bill highlights

- Creates the Parent Empowerment Act to increase awareness and involvement of parents and enable them to choose the
    intervention model to transform their child's persistently failing school.

- Gives parents a seat at the table in determining what should happen to their child’s struggling school

- Guarantees every child will received a highly effective or effective teacher at least every other year. 

- Informs parents of the right to know their child’s teacher evaluation rating.

- Offers virtual learning options to a student assigned an ineffective or out-of-field teacher.


“This bill addresses a nonpartisan concern – the educational success of Florida’s students,” said Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R-Merritt Island). “It gives Moms and Dads – those who are most passionate about a child’s success - the tools and platform to enact change.  This session, we have the opportunity to ensure no parent feels helpless when it comes to their child’s education.  The Florida Senate is committed to putting parents and students first by passing the Parental Empowerment Act.”



Supporting Statements from State Leaders and Education Advocates on HB 1191/SB 1718


Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers)

I have chosen to sponsor HB 1191 because I believe it is fundamental for parents to have a choice in their child’s education. No parent should be forced to accept a failing school for their child. This bill gives parents a way to actively improve the quality of education their child receives.


Representative Michael Bileca (R-Miami)
I am sponsoring this bill because I believe parents should be empowered with a seat at the table when decisions are being made about their child’s school.  Education molds the life of our children – our parents must have a voice in this process. With this bill, parents whose children are in a failing school are empowered with the tools to make a difference in this critical area of their child’s life.


Former Senator Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

"We all agree that parental involvement has a critical impact on the educational success of a child. Not all parents can afford to put their child in a private school when that child's public school begins to fail but all parents should have an equal voice in their child's education. I support the Parent Empowerment Act because it gives every parent a seat at the table with school administrators and teachers to make sure their son or daughter receives the education they deserve."


Ryan West, Director of Talent and Innovation Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce

“Fostering the development of a world class education system is the only way to ensure current and future generations of Floridians are prepared to compete in the global marketplace. To secure Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports empowering parents with the tools and resources to make educational choices they think are best for their children.”


Julio Fuentes, Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options

“This bill gives parents the opportunity to have direct involvement in their child’s school - the place that will shape their child’s educational destiny.  Moms and Dads will have a platform from which to voice the changes they want in their schools and school leaders will have to listen. Without a failing school holding them back, Florida’s Hispanic parents and students will be further able to narrow the achievement gap.”


Jose Gonzalez, Associated Industries of Florida

“This important bill will empower parents to participate in transforming their child’s failing school, guarantee that no Florida student is assigned to an ineffective teacher for two consecutive years, and provide alternatives if students are assigned to an ineffective or out-of-field teacher.  These are crucial steps towards building a world-class education system."


Attached is a summary of the Parent Empowerment Act and more information regarding Parent Revolution.


Parent Revolution Overview

Parental Empowerment Act Summary

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