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Parent trigger post blowback from Texas Families First

Jaime Kohlmann, Libertarian and President of Texas Families First Coalition commented on Parent trigger: Wolves in sheep’s clothing and astroturfing.
Dr. Heilig–have you read HB300? If you have, you’ll notice it’s not based at all on ALEC’s model legislation that you cite. Does HB300 contain a parent trigger? Yes. But does it contain a whole lot of other components to empower local educators and families? YES. And moreover, HB300 is completely optional for the district. Districts that want more freedom in exchange for family-centered accountability can opt into it. Districts that want to remain under the current system are also free to do so. I don’t expect ANYONE will like 100% of HB300, but if most people can get behind 90% (and I think they can, based on the broad array of co-authors), in my book that’s far superior to one party pushing through education bills that the other side completely detests. Jamie Kohlmann March 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

My thoughts: Jaime, thank you for your response. Free and open discussion is the key ingredient to the democratic process (and HB300 robocalls apparently). Yes, I have read HB300. I have pondered the ideas contained in HB300 since my phone conversation with Colleen Dippel about the approach many weeks ago.

First, Texas already has optional parent trigger legislation.

Second, I think the majority party should push through all the educational policy bills that they want to push through— it is their prerogative. For the last biennium, they cut $5.4 billion from education and legislated 15 exams for high school students (that add up to 25% of the school year for testing of various types). Considering the current backlash against the funding cuts and high-stakes tests, I do think the public is now finally paying attention to our politicians foibles and their ownership of current educational policy.

Third, on the similarity of HB300 Subchapter E to ALEC’s parent trigger ideas… my mother always says that if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and smells like a duck. It’s a duck.

I did note that there are some tenants of community-based accountability in Subchapter B. I do believe that we need a bottom-up approach to accountability. Honestly, I do like that about HB300. Unfortunately, the idea is sandwiched between allot of  ALEC-style choice/market ideology. I have discussed charters extensively here.

My question: I did note that you didn’t respond to the astroturfing discussion. From whom does Texas Families First coalition derive their $1.5 million budget?

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (700 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

2 Comments on Parent trigger post blowback from Texas Families First

  1. Jamie Kohlmann // March 26, 2013 at 9:41 am // Reply

    First, as for our donors–CLA has had 50 or more contributors from all corners of the state, but we are only one of several organizations supporting HB300 as part of the Texas Families First Coalition. Between all of the organizations, I would guess the donors number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

    Second, your use of the word “blowback” to describe my polite and well-reasoned comment causes me to doubt the sincerity of your commitment to “free and open discussion”. I’ll know better than to engage with you in the future.


    • Jamie, I do apologize that you were offended by the word blowback in the headline. No harm meant.

      I did some math. $1,500,000/50=$30,000 average. Those are very generous Texas (families?) donors from all corners of the state.


3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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