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Parent Trigger Law signatures filed for first time against LAUSD

January 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Some Los Angeles parents are trying to take back their children's elementary school. They're using the state's Parent Trigger Law to force the Los Angeles Unified School District to make drastic changes at the school, including getting rid of all the teachers.

Parents piled into buses Thursday and went from West Adams to Downtown L.A., where they presented the superintendent of the LAUSD with a petition that could bring drastic changes to 24th Street Elementary School.

Daniel Emory is one of the parents who signed the so-called parent trigger petition, demanding change at the low-performing elementary school.

"This is a victory for the kids, not for us, because we're here for the kids," said Emory.

California's Parent Trigger Law allows parents to take over a chronically failing school. Those changes could include creating a charter school. In that scenario, all of the teachers at 24th Street Elementary would be replaced. That's one reason the head of the teacher's union was at Thursday's signature drop.

"We wish to work with you. We wish to be a team," said Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Fletcher says he thinks some parents might not realize that the Parent Trigger Law could mean wholesale changes at their child's elementary school. But the parents at Thursday's event say they understand that change could be disruptive in the short term.

"The Parent Trigger is a way to create a sense of urgency and to demonstrate that parents want to be involved in part of the transformation process," said Christina Sanchez, deputy organizing director of Parent Revolution.

Two previous attempts to trigger the parent trigger law in California have failed. Petitions in Compton and Adelanto were rejected due to problems with the petitions.

This marks the first time the "parent trigger" has been pulled in Los Angeles.

"I would love to have this kind of parent involvement at every school," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. "Absolutely positively."

Organizers say 300 parents signed the Parent Trigger petition. District officials say it will take them at least a week to review the signatures.


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