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Parent-Trigger Advocate Forms Parent-Empowerment Foundation

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Gloria Romero, the director of the California Democrats for Education Reform and an author of the state's parent-trigger law, is leaving her post to create the Foundation for Parent Empowerment.

Romero, a former state senator, said in an Oct. 3 news release, that her foundation would make parents "the architects of their own children's educational future." She added that the foundation, which is expected to be operational in six months, will focus on educating parents about school-choice laws in California and nationwide.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with DFER, but believe that it is time to move past party politics and focus my skills and organizing with parents who form the true base of any education reform movement," Romero said in the release.

In an Oct. 4 interview with The San Bernardino County Sun, Romero talked at length about California's Parent Empowerment Act, which granted unprecedented power to parents to mandate sweeping changes at failing schools, including replacing the school's staff or hiring a charter operator to manage the school.

"There are some ideas that are right,"  said Romero, who ran unsuccessfully for California's state schools chief in 2010. "It's not about manana any more. How long is a kid supposed to wait?"

Romero acknowledged that the so-called parent-trigger law has had implementation flaws. But she added that "there would be a bloody war" if the law's critics—the California Teachers Association, for example—tried to repeal it.

"As its divisive and chaotic implementation has only validated our concerns and raised several glaring new ones, it's hard to imagine our members—as well as many parents and education advocates —wouldn't oppose it again," Frank Wells, a spokesman for the California Teachers Association said in the article.

Romero also took Parent Revolution, the Los Angeles-based parent-trigger advocacy nonprofit, to task, saying that she would like the group to take a less prominent role in future parent-led efforts. Parent Revolution organizers have been on the front lines of every parent-trigger campaign in California so far.

"I didn't write the law for one organization," she said in the article. "I wrote it for parents."

See our full coverage of parent empowerment issues.

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