Southland Parents Call for Educational Revolution

Strength in Numbers as Parents Say, "Fix it, or we leave."

They are parents of LA school kids and they have begun what they are calling a revolution in education.

Parents throughout LA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Bright Star Schools, the Alliance for College Ready Public Schools and Green Dot Public Schools are touting a new program to get parents to petition local school boards for change.

"This revolution is about change and bringing parents together," says Shirley Ford who has two kids who graduated from Green Dot Schools, "Parents want the power, we're getting organizes, signing petitions, taking them to the district and forcing change. And if we don't get a real plan for our schools, then we'll go charter.

Dozens of moms, dads, school administrators and kids, fed up with low graduation rates and high drop out rates, have signed on to this idea: get 51% of parents of any given school to sign a petition, present it to their local school board and ask for change.  If it doesn't come, the LA Parents' Union says it will build a charter school nearby to give parents an option for their kids.

"Everyone who has power over our kids' education right now has a conflict of interest," said LA Parents' Union Executive Director Ben Austin, "parents are the only ones without the power and up until today they were the only ones with no real power of any kind."

It's a case of strength in numbers and giving school districts ultimatums: make the change to increase graduation rates and decrease drop out rates or parents will look somewhere else for their kids' education - and that means enrollment suffers at public schools.

"It's not a mater of charterizing the district," sais Austin, "it's simply about giving parents power and every kid a great education."


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