First Orange County school to become charter under parent-trigger law moves forward – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM – An Anaheim school district that fought and lost a court battle against converting one of its campuses into an independent public charter school will now allow parents to move forward and take over.

Trustees of the Anaheim Elementary School Board voted Wednesday evening to rescind their 2015 denial of a parents’ petition seeking to convert Palm Lane Elementary into a charter school.

Board members directed Superintendent Linda Kimble to take the steps needed that will allow the parent petitioners to next solicit charter school proposals for Palm Lane.

Parents who originally petitioned for the change have 90 days to choose how they want to run the school independently of the district.

Palm Lane is the first school in Orange County to successfully tap the so-called state parent-trigger law, which allows parents to petition for administrative changes in low-performing schools.

“After a decade of chronic academic under-performance, the children of Palm Lane can look forward to a restarted school focused on students first, closing the achievement gaps and accelerating growth,” said Gloria Romero, a former state senator who co-authored the 2010 law, officially known as the California Parent Empowerment Act.

The school district took the battle to the California Supreme Court, which earlier this month refused to hear the case, allowing lower-court rulings favoring the parents to stand.

Parents submitted the petition in January 2015 after organizing for months, with support from the law’s two authors, Romero, who now runs the California Center for Parent Empowerment, and state Sen. Bob Huff.

In 2015, district officials rejected the parents’ petition, saying there weren’t enough valid signatures and citing other concerns.

District officials said they have spent more than $800,000 on the court battle.

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