Heartland Institute Reacts to Latest Parent Trigger Ruling in California

July 25, 2012

Heartland Institute Reacts to
Latest Parent Trigger Ruling in California

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Steve Malone ruled Monday that the Adelanto School District improperly allowed 97 parents at Desert Trails Elementary School to rescind their signatures on a Parent Trigger petition, which would have invalidated the effort to reform the school. An emergency, closed meeting of the school board began at 12:00 noon Pacific Time today to discuss its next legal move.

The following statements from education experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. Heartland has been highly influential in the Parent Trigger debate with the release of a 2010 policy study about the reform, model legislation, and research and commentaries. Search for these documents at PolicyBot, Heartland’s free-market research database.

For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.

“California courts aren’t known for their sanity, but this decision is a just, law-abiding one that sets not just Adelanto’s families free to decide their children’s education destinies, but all other families in the state who have been considering their options under the state’s landmark Parent Trigger law.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News

“Sometimes you have to wonder how guardians of the status quo in public education look themselves in the mirror in the morning.

“For years, Desert Trails, a school in California’s Mojave Desert, has woefully failed to teach kids the basics. Nearly three-fourths of sixth-graders are reading below grade level, for instance. Yet when parents tried to use California’s groundbreaking Parent Trigger law to convert Desert Trails to an independently managed charter school geared to uplifting performance, the school district claimed that enough parents had rescinded their signatures to drop the petition below the required 50 percent threshold. Good evidence exists that teacher unions had pressured or hoodwinked some parents into retracting their signatures.

“Three cheers for San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Steve Malone for not letting this travesty of justice stand. The parents are one step closer to having, at last, the transformed school that their children richly deserve, pending any other George Wallace-style stand in the schoolhouse door the bitter-enders may have in mind.

Robert C. Holland
Senior Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute

“The judge’s decision on the Adelanto Parent Trigger petition vindicates the hard work of parents fighting to get a better education for their under-served children. One wonders whether the defenders of the failed status quo will ever stop fighting concerned parents, and help to provide more education options for them instead.”

Bruno Behrend
Senior Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.