Earlier this session, folks in the Georgia Senate told me that the parent trigger bill was unlikely to win passage. I thought they were wrong when the bill flew through the House but today’s events suggest my sources were right.
House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, withdrew his parent-trigger charter school legislation amid doubts by his GOP Senate colleagues.
Seven states have enacted parent trigger laws; Georgia was among three state considering them. House Bill 123 would have allowed a majority of the parents or a majority of the faculty and instructional staff to petition for a complete overhaul of the school by converting to charter school status or another turnaround model.
The Georgia bill had three unique aspects. It gave the final say-so to local boards of education. It permitted teachers in failing schools to also petition for a management overhaul. And it allowed parents in high achieving schools to petition to turn their schools into charter schools.
The Senate had already made a major alterations to Lindsey’s bill, eradicating the provision that allowed teachers in failing schools to petition schools boards for a management overhaul.
Lindsey’s legislation, House Bill 123, had already passed the state House of Representatives and seemed to be on a glide path to passage in the Senate. But the bill — which would force school boards to consider a petition from parents or teachers to change a traditional public school into a charter school — ran into problems in the Senate’s Education and Youth Committee.
Instead of the bill being voted out of that committee Thursday, Chairman Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, announced that Lindsey had asked that the legislation be withdrawn. “It didn’t have the votes,” Tippins said.
“Rep. Lindsey realized there were some concerns about it,” Tippins said. “It is late in the session, and I think Rep. Lindsey just felt that, rather than have it be a point of contention, he’d just wait.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog