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Parent-trigger school should work with L.A. Unified, group says

April 03, 2013|By Howard Blume
  • Eliazar Jacobo, 58, left, was among more than 100 parents who delivered a parent-trigger petition to the school board in January to take control of the future of 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Eliazar Jacobo, 58, left, was among more than 100 parents who delivered… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)

A parent committee is recommending that a charter school and the L.A. Unified School District should collaborate to run 24th Street Elementary, which was the subject of a successful petition under the controversial parent-trigger law.

The recommendation, which will be formally released Thursday, is for L.A. Unified to partner with Crown Preparatory Academy. The district would run the kindergarten-through-fourth grade program and Crown Prep would manage grades five through eight, said David Phelps, a spokesman for Parent Revolution, a locally founded group that is advocating for parent-trigger laws nationwide.

"The parents were very impressed with all the proposals they received and reviewed," Phelps said. He added that the review period was extended to "allow LAUSD and Crown Prep to work out a partnership arrangement at the specific request of the parents."

"The parents believed -- and continue to believe -- both the LAUSD and Crown Prep proposals offered significant transformational ideas for 24th Street Elementary."

The state's parent-trigger law allows a majority of a school's parents, by signing a petition, to decide the fate of a low-performing school. The parents who sign the petition have the option of turning over the school to an outside operator or working with the school district on an overhaul.

In two other school systems, district officials challenged the validity of the petition, with mixed results. Union leaders and other critics also have faulted the parent-trigger process as cumbersome and divisive.

In L.A. Unified, Supt. John Deasy and the school board decided to embrace the effort after a group of parents delivered their petition Jan. 17.

In all, four proposals were reviewed by parents, working with organizers from Parent Revolution. Two proposals came from nonprofit charter school operators, including Crown Prep, and one from an education management organization.

A selection-review committee analyzed the proposals for three weeks and will make a formal presentation of its recommendation to other parents on Thursday. 

Parents who signed the original petition will take part in a vote on adopting a management plan for the school.

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Twitter: @howardblume | email

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