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“Parent Involvement”: Only for Bake Sales?

The recently upheld “Parent Trigger” law in California, which allows a 50% + 1 majority of parents at a state defined “failing” school and/or incoming feeder school to petition to change the school to a Charter, fire the principal and staff, close the school or restructure the school, gives parents additional tools to shape their kids’ educational experience.   Many of our clients are “involved” voluntarily or by agreed yearly commitment to service activities that benefit their children’s school(s).  Fundraising has taken on new importance and greater effort, since the budget cut-backs have started in California–both in supporting (and in some cases fully sponsoring) extracurricular activities, like athletics and music programs, as well as providing academic grants to teachers for instructional and curriculum materials.   The difference with the “Parent Trigger” law, is that it gives parents, if they can create a consensus, to actually influence the structure of their kids’ educational experience.  Will the “Parent Trigger” law create an impetus for schools and district to open dialogue and further collaborate with community?

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Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, is the Educational Partner at Creative Marbles Consultancy.   She combines educational theory with practical advice, so families, schools and educators can continuously improve their work teaching the next generation.  You can contact Jill at jill@creativemarbles.com or, read her short biography.