Parents Petition to Take Over Failing School

Parents in Los Angeles have petitioned to take over a “failing” school.

Evidently, California has a law that will allow parents to petition to take control of their children’s schools. I don’t know the particulars of this law, but I think it’s an excellent idea in theory.

We have a bill-filing process here in Oklahoma with set deadlines. It’s too late in the process for me to introduce a bill doing this for this year. But I may try to attach the idea as an amendment to another bill, if I can find an author who is willing to let me. I definitely intend to research this California law (and similar laws elsewhere) to see how it works.

I am way past weary of the huge difference between the quality of education that our public schools offers poor kids vs wealthy kids. The public schools in some areas offer a great education, while the public schools in other parts of the same district are dangerous, soul-killing places no child should be subjected to.

If the people we’ve put in place to provide a quality education to ALL our children can’t figure out how to do this, then maybe the people who love those children — their own parents — deserve a chance to see if they can do better.

Here in Oklahoma, over 50% of our budget goes to education. I’m fine with that. But I think that all that money should at least provide a quality education to all our students and not just those who live in wealthy areas. In fact, I thought (silly me) that this was the purpose of public education — to provide a quality education to every child. After all, the wealthy can send their kids to private schools or hire tutors. The kids whose parents work four jobs between them just trying to keep a roof over their heads are the ones who need quality public schools.

If there’s one thing above all others that makes me despair for our country, it’s what we’ve done and are doing to public education. We use it as a method of indoctrination, including an increasing push toward indoctrination designed to sexualize our children and normalize sexual disorders. We have created a two-tier public education system that funnels wealthy kids into bright futures and poor kids into fast-food jobs, drugs, gangs and prison.

The schools are not the culprits in this. They are, along with the rest of us, the victims of a government that is rotten from top to bottom with toadies for special interests; a government that does not care about the country or its citizens.

I’ve dealt with education as a political issue for 17 years now. I dealt with it as a mother who was trying to see to it that her kids got a good education a good bit of the time I was a stay at home mom. I can tell you that the welfare of the kids is not — ever — the focus of the people who run our schools.

The Reuters story describing the move to take over the school in Los Angeles reads in part:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Parents seeking to take control of a failing Los Angeles elementary school delivered hundreds of petitions to the nation’s second-largest school system on Thursday, invoking the California’s controversial “parent trigger” law to force change.
Parents representing 68 percent of the school’s students signed on to the petition, well over the 50 percent level required to set in motion a process that could ultimately see the 24th Street Elementary School turned into a privately managed charter, organizers of the effort said.
The move represents a repudiation of the largest school district in a state that in 2010 became the first to pass a law that lets parents of students in failing schools band together to force sweeping change: They can fire teachers, oust administrators or turn the school over to private management.
It remained unclear which option, if any, the parents at the largely poor and minority 24th Street school would take.
“We’re tired of hearing excuses,” said Laura Wade, a mother of a 24th Street kindergartner, who said her child has had more than a dozen different teachers over a six-month period. “We’re tired of being pushed back. We need a change, now.”
The effort was organized Parent Revolution, a non-profit that recently led the state’s first successful parent takeover of a public school in the desert city of Adelanto. The school board there agreed last week to transform the struggling Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter.
Critics of the parent trigger law say it can divide communities and lead to the privatization of public schools, while proponents say it empowers parents to improve their children’s educational opportunities.
Other states, including Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Connecticut, Indiana and Ohio, have since passed similar laws, while other states debate them. (Read more here.)

  • Sus

    “I can tell you that the welfare of the kids is not — ever — the focus of the people who run it.”

    I nearly caused WWIII at town meeting 3 years ago because I stood up and asked why the focus wasn’t ever on the welfare of the kids. The focus here is always property taxes and teachers. Although those are two important issues, the children should be FIRST.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re right Sus, and I can identify with your experience at that town meeting.

  • Will

    Our governor and legislature seem intent to dismantle both the good and bad schools in our state. I do not know if they are anti-teacher, anti-union, or just anti government education.


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