How Parent Trigger Disenfranchises Parents in California


A second Parent Revolution inspired parent trigger is underway in Los Angeles. LA Weekly’s Patrick Range McDonald has the details:

Today, Latino and African American parents at 24th Street Elementary will vote to ratify who will operate their kids’ school next year. They had previously, and successfully, petitioned to take over the chronically failing Los Angeles Unified school through California’s Parent Trigger law.

The 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union steering committee has recommended a “joint operator” in which L.A. Unified and non-profit charter school operator Crown Prep Academy share the duties.

In the recommended proposal, L.A. Unified would handle kindergarten through fourth grade and Crown Prep would teach fifth grade through eighth.

Only the 359 parents who signed the Parent Trigger petition are allowed to vote, but that represents 69 percent of the students there. They’ll have four options to consider, including the recommended joint plan.

24th Street Elementary has a student body that’s 75 percent Latino and 23 percent African American, according to GreatSchools.org. Since 87 percent of the students are eligible for a free or reduced-priced lunch program, many of them come from poor or working-class families.

The vote, which will be independently monitored, takes place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Benny H. Potter West Adams Avenue Memorial Park at the intersection of 24th Street and 2nd Avenue in L.A.

The results will be announced on Wednesday, and the winning proposal then heads to the L.A. Unified school board for approval

So the 31 percent of parents who didn’t want parent trigger have been disenfranchised by not getting to vote on an option. Florida’s republican legislators, who have been filibustering continuously with “giving parents a seat at the table,” obviously don’t realize that all parents will actually get one of those seats.

How ironic is it that a union – 24th Street Elementary School Parents Union – is the agent of the disenfranchisement? And that the reality is that only parents in the Union  have a seat at the table and get to vote on the future of the school?

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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