Recent reports claiming that the Obama administration supports Parent Trigger or parent empowerment legislation are untrue.
The administration has not yet taken a public stance on the issue, U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton said in a June 19 interview with School Reform News. Parent Trigger laws have been passed in four states after being first passed in California in 2010. They allow a parents whose children attend a failing school to require various reforms if a majority agrees to them, such as closing the school, converting it to a charter school, or attaching state dollars to the attending students to take to any school they wish.
Reuters reported in May that the Obama administration supports Parent Trigger laws. Ben Austin, executive director of trigger advocacy group Parent Revolution, told the Arizona Capitol Times the same thing in February. Parent Revolution Deputy Director Gabe Rose told SRN in an e-mail the source of Austin’s claim: a 2010 New York Times article.
That article said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan supported Parent Trigger efforts at McKinley Elementary in Compton, California. Due to a series of lawsuits, parents who pulled the trigger there still have not seen the law’s promised effects.