In response to concerns from real Florida parents, Sen Gaetz has been sending out the following automated response questioning the knowledge of parents and our reasons for opposition to SB 1718. Here's the email:
From: GAETZ.DON.WEB< GAETZ.DON.WEB@flsenate.gov>
Sent: Mon, March 5, 2012 5:27:43 PM
Subject: RE: Parent Empowerment Act SB 1718.
Thanks so much for your email and for sharing your concerns regarding Senate Bill 1718, Parent Empowerment in Education, introduced by Senator Lizabeth Benacquisto (R-Fort Myers) and I along with several other Senators are co-introducers as well.
As you may already, Senate Bill 1718, has recently passed in the Budget Senate Committee, a committee on which I sit.
Please know that your comments matter to me. That's why I've checked the record and found that the parent empowerment bill has never resulted in a single neighborhood public school being turned over to a for profit corporation. So that I'll have the benefit of your research and your thinking, could you please provide me with the names and locations of the neighborhood public schools which are now operated as for profit schools. This information would be of real value to me as I consider this legislation which will be on the Senate floor this week.
Again, it meant a great deal to me to hear from you. Thanks for caring so much.
Senator Don Gaetz
Let's break it down:
1. That's why I've checked the record and found that the parent empowerment bill has never resulted in a single neighborhood public school being turned over to a for profit corporation.
Of course it hasn't YET because it hasn't been successfully used yet. That's part of our concern - you're pushing a bill that is experimenting with our children. The Parent Trigger has only been pulled 2 times in Californai & it has been unsuccessful in both, resulting in conflict among neighbors and students.
2. could you please provide me with the names and locations of the neighborhood public schools which are now operated as for profit schools.
Happily - here you go: According to this article in Forbes magazine, one-third of the nation's schools are being operated by private education managment organizations. Of those, 80% are private for profit corporations. What once began as an innovative movement to improve public education had quickly turned into a backdoor for corporate profits.
Sen. Gaetz's email has one purpose: to silence Florida parents. He already knows the answers to these questions. As a former School Board Member and Superintendent, he should know better than trying to pull a fast one on Florida parents.
Shame on him for trying to silence us. Don't let him get away with it. Keep up your emails and calls to stop the Parent Trigger, SB 1718.