LOS ANGELES – TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013 – Parents in Los Angeles are making history today with the opening of the nation’s first ‘Parent Power Partnership’ school created as a direct result of the use of a ‘Parent Empowerment’ law. The 24th Street Parents Union forged a unique partnership between the nation’s second largest school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and a high-performing, non-profit charter school – Crown Preparatory Academy – to operate their school.

The 24th Street Elementary School opened its doors today for the 2013-2014 school year. Parents with children at 24th Street Elementary School used California’s ‘Parent Empowerment’ law earlier this year to create a transformed, high-quality school for the new school year.

As a result of the 24th Street Parents Union efforts, the school is the first of its kind ‘Parent Power’ school, with the historic partnership between LAUSD (responsible for PreK-4th grade) and Crown Preparatory Academy, which will be responsible for 5th – 8th grades. A precedent setting feature of the new school is its Pre-K program, a collaborative arrangement with LAUSD and Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) providing preschool services.

“Today, we mark the beginning of a unique partnership, a partnership focused on providing the best possible education for all the children and families. We have an unprecedented opportunity to show people everywhere how collaboration between a school district, parents and a high-quality charter operator can result in an outstanding education for every student. I congratulate and thank the parents of 24th Street Elementary for their dedication and commitment," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.

“For the parents and children of 24th Street Elementary, today is an exciting day. Our thanks go to Superintendent Deasy, and officials from the school district and Crown Prep Academy for working together so our children can have a fresh start. As parents, we are very proud of the example we have been able to set in bringing together different education partners focused on what is best for our children. It’s a wonderful day, and no-one can turn the clock back,” said Amabilia Villeda, lead parent coordinator for the 24th Street Parents Union.

“The parents of 24th Street Elementary School have done something that only a few years ago was unthinkable. As a result of their efforts, parents now have real power to change schools previously forgotten and failing. Our hope is all stakeholders in this new school, whether they be district officials, administrators, teachers and their union, elected officials and policymakers will wholeheartedly join these brave and dedicated 24th Street parents to assure academic success and a bright future for all the children at this new school,” said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution.

Two other schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – Weigand Avenue Elementary and Haddon Avenue Elementary – are also beginning the 2013-2014 school year this week with new school transformation models as a result of parent empowerment organizing efforts in those locations.

At Weigand Avenue Elementary School in the Watts neighborhood, parents in the Weigand Parents Union (WPU) opted to leverage the ‘Parent Empowerment’ law to bring in new leadership, while retaining the public school model. WPU successfully led the first 100 % in- district transformation option. Parents deliberately chose this option to bring in new leadership for their school without turning to an outside non-profit charter operator.

"We are confident that teachers and parents alike will work towards a new and successful school year to keep focus and efforts on building a stronger foundation for our children at Weigand Elementary School", said LAUSD Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic.

Haddon Avenue Elementary School voted to “pause” – and then end – their Parent Trigger petition efforts to work on a collaborative in-district reform plan for their school with teachers and the district. Parents formed the United Parents of Haddon (UPH) in August of 2011. The collaborative model for Haddon also starts today.

For media interested in the national growth and impact of Parent Trigger and Parent Empowerment legislation, please take a look at an editorial in today’s USA Today: http://tinyurl.com/l87sx8w

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SPECIAL MEDIA NOTE: ‘WE THE PARENTS’ DOCUMENTARY OPENS THIS WEEK

WE THE PARENTS follows the first group of parents attempting to transform a failing school under California’s 2010 ‘Parent Empowerment’ law. As news spreads about the events in Compton, this powerful documentary tracks the ripple effect of these parents’ efforts as the idea of a ‘Parent Trigger’ spreads to other communities in California and across the country.

WE THE PARENTS opens in Los Angeles this Friday, August 16th at the Laemmle Music Hall. The film will play in New York at the Quad Cinema starting Friday, September 6th. For further information: http://wetheparentsfilm.com/

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AuthorParent Revolution