What is the Parent Trigger?
The Parent Trigger is a law - passed for the first time ever in California - that gives parents the ability to transform their children's failing schools through community organizing. If half or more of the parents at any any systemically failing school in California sign a petition demanding change, they have the right to transform their school using one of the school transformation options laid out in President Obama's "Race to the Top" initiative. Within a year of its historic passage in California, versions of the Parent Trigger have passed in both Texas and Mississippi, and have been introduced in over 20 other state legislatures.
To learn more about California's Parent Trigger law, including how to use it in California or bring it to your state, click here. To download a copy of the actual law, click here.
Why is it so important?
For far too long, parents have been the stakeholders with the most at stake in our public education system, but - not coincidentally - also the group with the least power within it. Parent Trigger gives parents historic power to transform failing schools through community organizing and make sure decisions about schools are being made solely based on the best interests of their children.
How we did it:
Parent Trigger was an idea invented by Parent Revolution based on our theory of change - empowering parents to transform their schools through community organizing. In 2009, the California legislature was considering education reform legislation to help the state qualify for "Race to the Top" funding, and State Senator Gloria Romero agreed to include Parent Trigger as part of her legislative package. Sacramento insiders gave it close to zero chance of actually passing, but within weeks of being introduced, Parent Trigger went from an idea that nobody had ever heard of to the talk of the town. Parents throughout California called, emailed, and faxed their legislators, marched to Sacramento to testify in person, and even held protests outside the offices of key legislative opponents of Parent Trigger. Newspaper editorial boards throughout California chimed in with support of the parents and their push for the Parent Trigger. And in January 2010, against all odds, Parent Trigger managed to pass by just one vote in each house of the legislature, and was signed into law by the Governor.