Judge rules tentatively for Compton Unified in Parent Trigger case

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It's up to a judge to decide if parents can take over the low-performing McKinley Elementary School under the state’s new 'parent trigger' law.

An L.A. Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled against supporters of a new law that lets parents radically overhaul a low performing school.

Six months, ago, parents at Compton Unified’s McKinley Elementary School became the first to file a “parent trigger” petition. The school district rejected it, saying there was no place on the petition to write the date each signature was collected.

Dates are important, the district argued, to determine a McKinley student’s enrolled status and to make sure the signature was collected after the law had been approved. Lawyers for the parents went to court, saying the date the petitions were submitted was the most important date.

In a tentative ruling, L.A. Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr has agreed with Compton Unified, noting that the absence of dates on the petition is “fatal.” He’ll hear more arguments in two weeks, but it’s not likely he’ll change his decision.

Policymakers are crafting regulations for the parent trigger law. A lot’s riding on the outcome – the state’s charter school network supports the law; California’s largest teachers union opposes it.

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