Public schools

With Public Schools Failing, Parent Trigger Laws Become a Hot Topic

With teachers unions fighting against them, tooth and nail


In the Hollywood version of parent trigger laws, motivated parents of children trapped in a failing inner city school join forces to take over the institution and save their children's futures.

In reality, trigger laws, which allow parents to intervene in a struggling school, are a lot more complicated and controversial.

Versions of parent trigger laws have been proposed in at least 25 states and adopted by seven, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In real life, parent triggers have been attempted only a handful of times.

California in 2010 adopted the first parent trigger law in the nation. Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas, have since followed, according to Josh Cunningham, a policy specialist at NCSL.