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UTLA Seeking to Take Lead on Changing CA’s Parent Trigger*

LA School Report | October 17, 2013

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UTLA President Warren Fletcher

UTLA President Warren Fletcher

The governing body of the LA teachers union last night voted to seek out a state lawmaker to sponsor legislation that rewrites California’s parent trigger law, which allows for wholesale changes at a school if a majority of parents want them.

The state law, passed in 2010, was used for the first time this year in a handful of Los Angeles area schools, but in describing the rationale of the union’s House of Representatives vote, UTLA President Warren Fletcher said the current law pits parent groups against each other, a “balkanization” that does not serve the interest of all parents at the school.

“The current law is premised on the idea that someone has to be blamed and we have to go after the culprit,” Fletcher told LA School Report today. “We believe collaboration goes a lot farther than balkanization.”

Fletcher said it’s usually UTLA’s statewide affiliates, the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association, that lobby for new laws. But because “so much of the effect” of the parent trigger law can come in LA Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district, he said, “we feel the need to take the lead in pursuing it.”

In another vote, the House approved an effort aimed at delaying adoption of an online voting system for elections and policy changes until after the next round of union elections conclude early next year. If approved, online voting would replace paper ballots, starting on July 1.

The change, Fletcher said, was designed to allow the coming election cycle to proceed without changing the method of voting in midstream.

In a third vote, the House members approved a plan to boycott Common Core training sessions so long as the district refuses to pay teachers for attending the sessions at the same rate they earn during normal classroom hours. The training sessions, required by the state for implementation of the new curricula next year, are generally held after school hours and on weekends.

Fletcher said teachers are paid $102 a day for the training sessions, about a third of what they otherwise earn for their work in the classroom.

The starting date for a boycott, he said, is now under consideration.

*Corrects training session rate to $102 a day, not $102 an hour.


Previous Posts: Parent Trigger‘ Doc in Final LA Showing With Director Q&AHaddon Parents Abandon Trigger, Still Get ChangesShould the Teachers Union Vote Online? Members Will DecideLA Teachers Proposing Online Voting System for Union Elections



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