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Parent Advocacy Group May Sue Los Angeles District Over Parent-Trigger Law

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Parent Revolution released a statement this week saying it will sue the Los Angeles Unified School District if parents are prevented from petitioning for sweeping education reforms at their failing schools this school year.

The parent advocacy group is responding to reports last week that Los Angeles Unified, along with seven other urban California school districts, are exempt from the state's so-called parent-trigger law because of a federal waiver the school systems received from the U.S. Department of Education. The Parent Empowerment Act allows parents whose children attend chronically low-performing schools to petition their district for education reforms, including hiring new staff or converting the school into a charter.

Parent Revolution, which has helped parents use the parent-trigger law, wrote: "LAUSD is not above the law and must continue to follow the Parent Empowerment Act." The statement continues by saying that the organization has secured a law firm on a pro bono basis to take legal action against the Los Angeles school district if necessary. (Read law firm Kirkland & Ellis' letter outlining Parent Revolution's legal position here.)

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Superintendent John Deasy told LA School Report that parents may still use the law. However their school must have been identified as poorly performing or "in need of improvement" for two consecutive years ending in 2014-2015.

In an opinion piece for the Orange County Register, former state Sen. Gloria Romero, who wrote the 2010 parent-trigger law, questioned whether Los Angeles' position was legal and has asked the state counsel to "pursue a legislative ruling."

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