State PTA does not speak for parents on parent trigger

At the Texas House Public Education Committee hearing on parent trigger on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Dinah Miller, Richardson Council of PTA legislative chair, expressed her disappointment with Texas PTA support of SB 14 stating that it was not voted on by PTA members nor mentioned at the Texas PTA legislative day at the Capitol.  Raise Your Hand Texas's David Anthony, Dr. Julian Vasquez-Heilig and CVPE parent, Claudia Rios's testimony spoke out forcefully against parent trigger as well.

Here's the link to the video from the House Public Ed Comm hearing on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 http://tlchouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=37&clip_id=11252
  • Raise Your Hand Texas's David Anthony testimony is summarized here
  • Dr. Julian Vasquez-Heilig's testimony, "a one-way street to private control- SB14" is posted on his blog, cloaking inequity here
  • Claudia Rios's testimony is at 4:08 here
  • Dinah Miller, Richardson Council of PTAs lege chair gives her testimony here

From the testimony, it appears that neither the state nor national PTA has a position in support of parent trigger. The parent trigger bill is NOT parent empowerment. 

Once a parent signs the petition, he/she loses rights that have been guaranteed to parents, students and teachers under the education code like  class size caps in grades k-4, due process rights for students regarding the right to appeal a disciplinary decision, the right to a certified teacher among others.

Once a parent signs a “parent trigger” petition to "charterize" their neighborhood school possibly with certain conditions they like, parents subsequently will have no further rights regarding their school’s management, the charter itself or even the school's existence.

TASB summarized the hearing as follow: "SB 14 (Taylor, L.) would amend current parent trigger law in Texas to allow parents of students enrolled at a campus with an unacceptable performance rating for three consecutive years to submit a petition to the commissioner requesting reconstitution, repurposing, alternative management, or closure of the campus. A petition seeking alternative management could specify the process to be used to select the organization or team to assume management of the campus, which the commissioner would be required to use. If the process is not specified, the organization or team would be selected by the parents. If the petition is signed by the parents of a majority of students enrolled at the campus, the commissioner would be required to order the specific action requested. Reps. Alma Allen (D-Houston) and Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint) asked Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), who laid out the bill, why it was needed if these options are already available to the commissioner, who may take into consideration input from communities. Raise Your Hand Texas CEO David Anthony testified against the bill noting that there are other measures that would serve the purpose of improving schools. Dinah Miller, a parent in Richardson ISD and legislative chair of the local PTA, testified against the bill because it actually takes power away from parents. She noted that she was dismayed that Texas PTA supported this bill in a previous hearing. TASB submitted testimony against the bill. Parents asking for more parental involvement testified for the bill."https://t.e2ma.net/message/ha2zl/1xxzbb

Parent trigger was the last bill heard in the six hour hearing.
The lay out of SB 14 by Rep Harold Dutton, R-Houston, began at about 3 hours 16 minutes into the hearing.   There was a discussion for almost 20 minutes before public testimony began.
Claudia Rios from CVPE testified in opposition to SB 14 at 4:08 into the meeting.
She brought up some great points about the wealthy folks behind parent trigger, parent opposition in Florida and loss of parent rights once the petition is signed.  She cited her support for Community Schools.
Dinah Miller, Richardson Council of PTAs legislative chair, testified followed her at 4:13 into the meeting cited her disappointment with Texas PTA support of SB 14, telling the public education committee that parent trigger was never voted on by PTA members nor mentioned at the Texas PTA legislative day at the Capitol. She cited that the bill marginalizes parents.
Loretta Brock testified in favor of the bill at about 4:23 and Gary Monroe UUAA testified for the bill at 4:47. 
 
At 5:22 Leslie Boggs, Texas PTA president, testified for SB 14, describing this as one of many tools for intervention.  Aycock asked her about Community Schools, but Leslie did not address this issues.  She thinks parent trigger is a last option.
Rep VanDeaver mentioned some emails he had received from PTA groups opposed to parent trigger and Leslie glossed over the state / national positions.  She said she would share them with the committee.
 
Darren Grissom, PTA asst exec director followed Leslie at about 5:29.  He dissociated PTA from the Parent Revolution organization and said that only one school in six California, opted for a charter school as a result of parent trigger.
 
Public testimony concluded about a half hour later.

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