In 2010, former state senator Gloria Romero drafted the “Parent Trigger” law, formally known as the Parent Empowerment Act of 2010. This law states that if 50 percent of students’ parents of a constantly subpar school sign a petition for reformation, the change will go into effect. Recently, along with eight other California school districts, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), announced that it would not be subject to the “parent trigger” law.
Last year at 24th Street Elementary in Los Angeles, parents used the “parent trigger” law to turn their students’ underperforming school into a charter-hybrid. Without this policy, parents now are no longer able to conduct several different reforms, which include transforming their school into a charter school, replacing the school’s principal and staff, closing the failing school or sending students to better performing schools.
LAUSD officials said that a special Department of Education waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law specifically exempts the district from the “parent trigger” law. According to the Los Angeles Times (LA Times), Ingrid Villeda from the United Teachers of Los Angeles led the opposition for the “parent trigger” law saying that it has divided communities by allowing half the parents to change the fate of an entire school, which may be an essential reason for the exemption.
“The law is flawed,” Villeda said. “[All school and community members should have a voice to ]create change that is effective and long-lasting.”
LAUSD’s action has also raised controversy with people questioning its fairness.
“I believe that suspending this law is a way of revoking a parent’s rights in being able to support their children,” sophomore Maya Gomez said.
As stated by the LA Times, LAUSD will be working toward making their own reforms and establishing new systems to show progress.