In which I attempt to read the tea leaves on the next chapter in the GOP's assault on public schools:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will headline an April 30 fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, the McCrory campaign confirmed today. Gov. Bush is one of the reform experts in the country on education and Pat's been in touch with him on that subject,” Nick said.
Before I continue, an observation: Too often NC Democrats assume a posture of "waiting to see" what Republicans will do, which also leads to "reacting". And reacting poorly, more often than not. There are forces at work here that thrive on that lack of proactivity, and that posture must change. Climbing back down from my high horse:
If Myers Park Pat is lapping up Jeb Bush's ideas on education reform, then we definitely have a problem looming:
The controversial “Parent Empowerment” proposal isn’t just causing a bipartisan kerfuffle in the Senate where critics say the measure is a cash cow for for-profit charter schools and private management companies.
But the “parent trigger” measure could also make hay for Gov. Jeb Bush’s non-profit Foundation for Florida’s Future. Bush is backing the bill, pushed by Los Angeles-based Parent Revolution and education reformer Michelle Rhee and fiercely opposed by a teachers’ unions and a Florida coalition of parent-led groups, including the PTA.
Here's more on the Parent Trigger:
The proposed legislation, commonly called “the parent trigger bill,” is a vehicle that allows parents of students at low-performing schools (so graded by the state) to petition the state or school district to allow these schools to be taken over by private companies or charter school operators.
In contrast, the parent trigger is designed to give private companies and charter management organizations an open invitation to exploit parents and take over schools — destroying school communities. Rather than a grassroots process, it’s an Astroturf mechanism by which companies circulate petitions to take over schools. This idea is being pushed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s education foundation, with support from the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the James Madison Institute.
And (big surprise) cookie-cutter legislation for this patently corporate takeover of public schools has been/is being crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is holding a "Parent Trigger Task Force" summit in May, to work out the kinks before their big shindig in July.
Republicans in the General Assembly (and maybe a few confused/compromised Dems) probably won't try to squeeze this into the Short Session, for fear of a Bev Perdue Veto. But if McCrory wins in November? The tea leaves are not promising.