PARENT WIN! IT’S OVER!
STOP THE PRESSES! Two days ago, the California State Board of Education, rather than killing/gutting the Parent Trigger Law (which had been passed thanks to then state senator, now head of DFER CA, Gloria Romero, and Ben Austin of Parents Revolution), instead approved final regulations that strengthen the law. This is a HUGE and unexpected victory and, mark my words, will have national implications, as many other states are likely to follow CA's lead and empower parents in a uniquely powerful way. Here's the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2011
CONTACT: Linda Serrato, email@example.com, (909)287-9667
PARENT WIN! IT'S OVER!
LOS ANGELES – Today, Gov. Jerry Brown's State Board of Education (SBE), under the guidance of SBE President Michael Kirst unanimously passed final implementing regulations for the historic Parent Trigger. Below is a statement from Parent Revolution on the final chapter in the regulations debate:
"Today, the parents and children of California won an historic and hard-fought victory at the State Board of Education over Parent Trigger implementing regulations. These regulations operationalize Parent Trigger as a true right for every parent in California, and they make it virtually impossible for recalcitrant district bureaucracies like Compton Unified to abuse the ambiguity in the law in order to defend an indefensible status quo.
"Eighteen months ago, when parents across California first organized to pass the Parent Trigger; or even eight months ago, when parents in Compton submitted their historic Parent Trigger petition, none of us could have predicted this day. And just six short months ago when our Executive Director, Ben Austin, and other reformers were removed from the State Board of Education largely in an attempt to stymie Parent Trigger, no sane political prognosticator could have predicted that this day would come to pass. But it did. Today. Because of the power and the passion of desperate and committed parents.
"A few highlights of these historic regulations:
• They ban harassment and intimidation of parents organizing around Parent Trigger, and they ban the use of school resources to campaign for or against Parent Trigger;
• They create a model petition, so that no future Parent Trigger petition will ever be thrown out due to a technicality;
• They provide every parent at all 1300 Parent Trigger eligible schools in California with notice about the law and their rights under the law;
• They create common sense signature verification procedures and timelines, and mandate that no legitimate signature shall ever be thrown out based on a technicality;
• They empower parents to choose their charter or in-district reform partner through a transparent and public parent-led RFP process after the parents have won the organizing campaign, and;
• They reject CTA's outrageous proposal that teachers be given veto power over Parent Trigger.
"Over the past six months, hundreds of parents rode on a midnight parent bus, from Compton to Sacramento. Over and over and over again. These parents convinced the governor, along with key statewide education and legislative leaders, to stand with them instead of the most powerful and wealthy interest groups in the state. When they didn't get the answer they wanted, they got right back on the bus to Sacramento. They refused to take 'no' for an answer and they ultimately forced the Sacramento establishment to listen. People throw around the term "parent involvement" a lot. But these brave parents define the term 'parent empowerment.'
"Today we close one long, circuitous chapter, and we open a new one. These regulations make the Parent Trigger a true right for every single parent in California, even if they don't always have a stable of idealistic pro-bono attorneys at their side. As this movement spreads across Compton, Los Angeles and California to far off places like Texas, Mississippi, New York and dozens of other states, we will never forget what this movement is about: giving parents power to finally make education serve the interests of children, not adults.
"Thank you for everything you have done to make this day and this journey possible. We have many more chapters in this story to write together. But it's worth taking a moment to savor the historic conclusion to this chapter, and the transformative implications it has for the parents and children of California."
Press should direct all inquiries to Linda Serrato, firstname.lastname@example.org, (909)287-9667