In a break from the charter school debate, here is something coming your way in January — a push for a parent trigger law in Georgia by Atlanta state Rep. Edward Lindsey. (See earlier blog on parent trigger laws.)
The trigger law allows parents to take over a failing school and reopen it as an independent charter if they collect signatures from the majority of families. Only a few states have a parent trigger law. The first was enacted in California in 2010 and adopted since in some fashion in Connecticut, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
But 20 other states, including Georgia, have seen unsuccessful efforts to pass parent trigger laws. The film “Won’t Back Down” was a fictional account of a school takeover over a parent trigger law.
This is the official release:
State Representative Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, the Georgia House Majority Whip, announced today his intention to push for passage of a Parent Trigger Bill during next year’s legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. The measure will give parents a greater voice in school governance.
“We have been working with parents and educators on this issue for some time,” said Rep. Lindsey. “However, the events at North Atlanta High School highlight the need for this kind of legislation. Parents, students, and school staff were completely cut out of the decision making process. That is no way to instill needed confidence to improve our schools.”
A parent trigger bill will make it easier for parents to petition to convert their existing traditional public school into a local public charter school, which would give parents greater control over their children’s education and give the school greater flexibility in improving student achievement.
“An integral part of improving education in Georgia is greater parent buy-in to their children’s education. The parent trigger proposal will assist parents with this in both well-established and struggling low performance schools,” Rep. Lindsey continued. “A quality education for all of our state’s children is critical to their future and ours. All parents should be given a greater voice in achieving this.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog