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Shocker: California Superintendent Tom Torlakson Plans to Re-Write Parent Trigger Law, Education Reformers Stunned

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson plans to essentially re-write the Parent Trigger law, which allows parents to take over a chronically failing school through a petition drive. Torlakson has been a staunch opponent of the Parent Trigger.

Parent Revolution Deputy Director Gabe Rose tells L.A. Weekly that at a California State Board of Education meeting in Sacramento today, Torlakson said he would be working with California State Assemblywoman Julie Brownley, chairwoman of the assembly's education committee, who's also not a fan of the Parent Trigger, to do "clean up" legislation on the state law.

"What it really means is that they want to repeal or roll back the (Parent Trigger) law," says Rose.

Brownley, who has a district office in Woodland Hills, and Torlakson are apparently ready to throw out nearly eight months of work the State Board of Education has done to create regulations for the Parent Trigger law.

A crowd of Los Angeles-area parents, who drove up to Sacramento to demand the approval of Parent Trigger regulations, were stunned to learn of Torlakson's plans.

Torlakson was just elected superintendent in November. His campaign was strongly backed by California teacher unions, who hate the Parent Trigger.

Teacher unions see the law as a tool that can be used by charter schools, which don't usually have unionized teachers.

The Parent Trigger also gives new political leverage to parents, who can demand changes at public schools that unions may not support.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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