Atlanta, Ga - For parents who want school choice, the opportunity to exercise the so-called “parent trigger” is now one step closer. House Bill 123, which calls for the “parent trigger” passed the House 97 to 23 despite strong opposition from public teachers groups.
“What this bill does, plain and simple, is it puts teeth in the right to petition,” bill sponsor and Majority Whip Edward Lindsey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It says that the local school board must look at your concerns and statements and see if they have merit.”
The “parent trigger” allows parents to force the hand of local school boards to consider a petition to change a traditional school into a charter when a majority of the school’s student households make the request. School boards would also have to consider such petitions if they’re signed by a majority of teachers and instructional staff.
The bill creates a threshold of 60 percent of student households or 60 percent of teachers and instructional staff who must agree with submitting a charter petition, the local board could only reject it if at least two-thirds of board members vote to reject it.
Supporters of the bill argue that the “parent trigger” will allow parents of dysfunctional schools to take their children’s education into their own hands by pushing the school towards a charter school. Opponents argue that the idea that charter schools will improve academic achieve is from a certainty.
The bill will now go before the Senate for consideration.