A measure making it easier for parents to urge their school boards to close failing schools or convert them into charters was sent last week to the full Texas Senate for consideration, but with changes to ensure such efforts aren’t led by outside groups.
The proposal is meant to shorten the time it takes before “parent triggers” can be enacted.
Currently, schools rated “academically unacceptable” for two straight years are subject to state intervention. If performance doesn’t improve for three additional years, a majority of parents can petition a school board for closure, staff changes, or conversion to a charter.
The proposal would now allow parents to seek school board action one year after state intervention.
The measure has been cheered by conservatives as ensuring parents can hold schools accountable. But teachers’ groups worry it will allow more traditional public schools to fall under the control of charter operators.
A version of this article appeared in the April 03, 2013 edition of Education Week as Texas Senate to Decide On ‘Parent Trigger’ Bill