- The parents are making use of a new California law, called the Parent Trigger, which gives them the power to impose sweeping changes on failing schools.
Under this law, if the majority of a school’s parents agree, they can choose to close down the school, replace the entire staff, or convert it to a charter school. All that is required is a petition signed by 50 percent of the parents.
On December 7, accompanied by a horde of news cameras, a McKinley Elementary parent representative made history when she delivered a petition (signed by 62 percent of parents) to the district’s superintendent demanding that that school become a charter school.
“This is the beginning of a new future of our kids,” parent leader Ismenia Guzman was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying.
As a result, a charter school operator will be given control of the school. Like any charter school, the operators will have to meet agreed-upon goals in order to have their contract renewed.
What makes this story so encouraging is the fact that parents were given power over their child’s education. No longer will parents be forced to watch helplessly from the sidelines as their child becomes trapped in a failing school, at least in California.