Monday, January 31, 2011

Parent Trigger Gets Gibson Law Firm

Kudos to the law firms that have volunteered to fight this:

If the Parent Trigger battle in Compton gets much uglier, attorneys for Compton Unified School District will face two powerhouse law firms in court: Kirkland & Ellis and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which American Lawyer magazine named 2010 Litigation Department of the Year, jumped into the fray this week, agreeing to work pro bono for Parent Revolution, which organized Compton parents to gather enough signatures to take over McKinley Elementary School under a new California law.

Kirkland & Ellis, one of the largest law firms in the U.S., also is lending its considerable power to the reformers' side, agreeing to work pro bono for McKinley Parents for Change, a group of parents who signed the Parent Trigger petition. Those parents are furious that Compton officials are challenging their signatures and trying to stop them from launching a makeover at substandard McKinley Elementary.

The parents have opted to turn McKinley into a charter school. Compton officials vociferously oppose charters, and no charter has ever been allowed inside Compton.

Jay Lefkowitz, senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis, says the firm decided to represent McKinley Parents for Change because "this is a historic moment in American education reform. ... This is about giving parents the power to fight for their children for a better education."

The two firms join other seasoned political figures who are taking on the Compton school leaders. "We're ready to go all the way to the [California] Supreme Court," says Parent Revolution Executive Director Ben Austin, a former aide to President Bill Clinton.


Parent Trigger Gets Gibson Law Firm

Powerful firms offer parents free help taking over a Compton School

By Patrick Range McDonald Thursday, Jan 27 2011

 Subscribe in a reader