Heartland Institute Expert Comments on Parent Trigger Victory in Los Angeles

Published January 18, 2013

The Los Angeles Unified School District on Thursday accepted the Parent Trigger petitions from parents of children who attend 24th Street Elementary School, one of the worst-performing schools in the district. John Deasy, superintendent of the LAUSD, pledged to work with the parents to enact “fundamental and dramatic change” at the school, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The victory for LAUSD parents came a week after the Adelanto School Board in nearby San Bernardino County unanimously approved a Parent Trigger plan by parents of students in Desert Trails Elementary School after more than a year of delays.

The Parent Trigger is a reform mechanism, started in California in 2010, in which parents of failing schools may force a school district to undertake specific reforms, including sending their children to a different public school, converting the school into a charter school, or receiving opportunity scholarships to send their children to the private school of their choice

The Heartland Institute has been at the forefront of advancing this education reform idea from the start. For more information and to review Heartland’s work on this reform, visit The Parent Trigger Web Site and search for “parent trigger” at PolicyBot.

The following statement from Joy Pullmann, research fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“That Los Angeles parents moved so quickly to employ the Parent Trigger after the last group of California parents won theirs indicates that supporters were right all along: The lack of Parent Trigger action was due to teacher union-instigated division, delays, and lawsuits rather than lack of demand among families for better choices for their kids.

“I wish LAUSD families a speedier resolution to their frustrations.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 29-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.