Twist the Barrel: Opposing ALEC’s Parent Trigger in Indiana

Disarmament sculpture at the UN* Disarmament sculpture at the UN*
Disarmament sculpture at the UN*


(Please use the following as a template to email to your Indiana congresspeople now.)

Yesterday, the Parent Trigger bill passed an Indiana House committee. Although Rep. Rhonda Rhoads’ House Bill 1219 has her name on it, the Parent Trigger bill was written and supported by the Heartland Institute and ALEC, the anti-public education, anti-union, anti-regulation, Koch brothers funded group also behind the Right-to-Work bill in Indiana. Parents, teachers, students, and community members need to let lawmakers know we oppose this anti-public school bill.

As I noted in Terre Haute’s Tribune Star last month (see second article in link), the Parent Trigger bill allows school privatizers to invade local communities, smear teachers, and deceptively persuade parents to sign on to handing their schools over to for-profit companies like Edison Learning, Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation, and others which donated to Tony Bennett’s campaign.

Here is what Caroline Grannan, journalist and public school advocate, has written about this trigger bill in California (“The Parent Trigger Fails in California”): “It appears that some voices around the country are discussing the Parent Trigger as though it had been used successfully at schools throughout California. But that’s not true. The Parent Trigger has never succeeded at any school in California. There have been two known attempts to use it; both have failed. And Parent Revolution, the billionaire-funded Astroturf (fake grassroots) organization that created the Parent Trigger, appears to have basically abandoned it as a strategy.”

Parents Across America (the most knowledgeable, respected, and authentic group speaking on behalf of parents and students in this country) also opposes the Parent Trigger bill. As PAA’s co-founder Leonie Haimson has said,  “The Parent Trigger was devised as an underhanded trick by the charter lobby to manipulate parents into letting them privatize more public schools.”

Genuine parent groups in Florida and New York are aggressively trying to fight off this corporate assault in their states. If this bill passes, many more Indiana public schools will be privatized, teachers will be fired, and children will suffer at the hands of private companies who only see dollar signs when it comes to educating our children.  Let your congressperson know you are against House Bill 1219 now.

(Please see Douglas Storm’s “The Parent Trigger Trap,” also posted on B-Town Errant today.)

*photo by

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A Walt Whitman scholar, Doug Martin is the author of the upcoming Hoosier School Heist to be published this year by Brooks Publications. His teaching experience has covered K-graduate school. His exposures of corporate education reform have appeared or been referenced in Diane Ravitch's Blog, Washington Post Answer Sheet blog, the Associated Press, Schools Matter, Parents Across America blog, Charter School Scandals, Susan Ohanian's Testing Atrocities and Outrages, @ The Chalk Face, The Huntington Teacher,, Peg with Pen, the NPR/State Impact Florida, NPR/State Impact Indiana, the Pulp (Broward-Palm Beach New Times), Big Education Ape, School Matters (Indiana), A Teacher's Fight, Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education blog, NUVO, the Indianapolis Star, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Scathing Purple Musings, Terre Haute's Tribune Star, the Times of Northwest Indiana, the Post-Tribune,, and Firedoglake, among others. Doug currently blogs at Jim Horn's Schools Matter ( You can find more of Doug's writings at:


  1. Update on HB 1219 – Charter school Conversion; Twist the Barrel and ALEC legislation - January 13, 2012

    [...] previous post on HB 1219 on Charter School Conversion, Twist the Barrel has a related post entitled Opposing ALEC’s Parent Trigger in Indiana. Although Rep. Rhonda Rhoads’ House Bill 1219 has her name on it, the Parent Trigger bill was [...]

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