Judge sides with 'parent trigger' supporters in Compton school case

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A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Thursday in a case in which Compton parents signed a petition to convert their low-performing public school into a charter campus.

California’s new “parent trigger” law allows a majority of a public school’s parents to overhaul their low-performing campus. Compton Unified began verifying signatures from one such petition last week by summoning parents to show up at the school at designated times, show official identification and sign a document to verify that they’d signed the initial petition.

Ben Austin’s group, Parent Revolution, filed a legal complaint against that process. "The judge basically said that you can’t make it more difficult to sign a parent trigger petition than it is to vote for president of the United States."

The injunction stops Compton’s validation process and sets another hearing at the end of this month to rule on a proper way to validate parent trigger signatures. In a statement, Compton Unified officials said they’re confident that the court will find its verification method legal.

Both sides have been locked in a nasty war of words. Each side accuses the other of using intimidation to recruit parents to their side.