Families & the Community

L.A. District Rejects Parent-Trigger Petition at Elementary School

By Sarah Tully — March 15, 2016 1 min read
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The Los Angeles Unified School District rejected a petition to use the California parent-trigger law to transform an elementary school into a charter, an effort launched after parents said the district failed to make promised changes at the low-performing school, according to news reports.

On Saturday, district officials notified parent leaders at 20th Street Elementary School that they were rejecting the petition, which was signed by 58 percent of the parents, saying that the school was not subject to the law, according to KPCC, a Southern California public radio station.

“Because the law doesn’t apply to this situation, we returned the petitions. However, we remain committed to working with parents to address all concerns in a timely manner,” said Superintendent Michelle King in a statement to LA School Report.

California’s 2010 Parent Empowerment Act, the first parent-trigger law in the country, allows parents at low-performing schools to gather signatures to take over campuses, such as by turning them into charter schools or changing the administration.

This was the second time that 20th Street Elementary parents had attempted a parent-trigger campaign. After threatening to submit petitions last year, district officials made an agreement with the 20th Street Parents Union to improve student achievement at the school.

But parents said district officials failed to follow through on the agreement, so they submitted a petition in February to turn the campus into a charter school.

“I am angry and deeply saddened to hear about LAUSD’s decision. But we have been working at this for two years, and we are not discouraged and we are going to keep fighting,” parent Omar Calvillo, a secretary of the 20th Street Elementary Parents Union, said in a statement released by Parent Revolution.

Nationwide, a handful of states have adopted parent-trigger laws, but California is the only place where it has been executed. See snapshots of all of California’s parent-trigger efforts as of last year.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.