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Monopolies don't work, and one of the best things about school choice is that it forces educators and schools to compete against each other for students. This makes everyone step up their game, and the students are the ones to benefit. Some have questioned if public schools would be willing to compete in a free market setting but, in the wake of a parent trigger being invoked in Los Angeles, the local district is doing just that.
Earlier this month, parents of students at 24th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles signed a parent trigger petition which was then delivered to the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Now that changes are to be made, it remains to be seen what the school’s new path will be. Parents are now receiving letters of intent from eight organizations looking to run the new school: six charter organizations, one from an organization run by a former teacher at the school, and one from LAUSD itself.
Due to prolonged legal battles, this level of interest is unusual for schools which have undergone a parent trigger. It’s still possible that LAUSD will fight back, but it seems unlikely that they will do so. In fact, Superintendent John Deasy has pledged to work with parents and Parent Revolution, the group which organized the parent trigger action, if their proposal is accepted. Amabilia Villeda, lead parent coordinator for the 24th Street Elementary School parents said in a statement that these options "gives us a real choice in who transforms our school in the coming months. We are pleased the school district is also participating in this process."
Proposals from those wishing to run the school are due in by March 8. We will have to watch and see what happens. Whatever the parents choose, schools are waking up to competition. There’s nothing like a little free market competition to benefit the consumer or, in this case, the student.