California board of education lets current school law regulations stand

California’s Board of Education Wednesday set a deadline next month to craft permanent rules for a new law that lets parents overhaul chronically low-performing public schools.

Under the new Parent Empowerment Law, all it takes is a majority of parent signatures at a low-performing school to overhaul the campus by turning it into a charter school or some other model.

The first test of the law took place three months ago at McKinley Elementary School in the Compton Unified School District. The pro-charter school group that helped pass the law helped parents collect a majority of signatures from the school. The teachers union and school officials opposed the effort, saying the district had made improvements.

Compton Unified compelled parents who signed to return to the school, verify their signatures and sign again. Advocates of the law challenged that method in court.

A spokeswoman for the State Board of Education said members would iron out permanent guidelines on signature verification and the law’s other rules at the board’s April 21 meeting.

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