Saturday, February 5, 2011
Parents petitioning to convert their low-performing Compton elementary campus into a charter school won a temporary restraining order Thursday blocking district officials from requiring that they verify their signatures in person with photo identification.
The petition campaign was the first test of a new state "parent trigger" law that allows parents to force sweeping change at low-performing schools, including shifting to independently run, publicly financed charters. Parents at McKinley submitted a petition in December calling for the campus to be turned over to Celerity Educational Group.
The district insisted that parents show up last week with photo identification to verify their signatures on the petitions. More than 60 parents boycotted that process at the urging of Parent Revolution, the Los Angeles reform group and charter-school ally that organized McKinley's effort.
Alex Flores, Compton's assistant superintendent of human resources, said ID was requested to ensure that the parent and the petition signer were the same. Verification is often used for other school business, he said, such as student registration. But he said parents without photo ID could use other identification, including library cards.