Senator Joe Kyrillos
Says “Parent Trigger” Law Would Empower Parents to Change Failing Schools
Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) today lamented the news that the parents of students in the Camden school system have few options to obtain a better education for their children other than to ask state officials to send their children elsewhere.
“I applaud these parents for taking an active and public role in advocating for better schools in Camden,” said Kyrillos (R- Monmouth), “but I am saddened that they are forced to plead with the state to provide an alternative. No parent should have to beg for a quality education for their kids.”
Kyrillos said that the recent announcement by Maria Roldan, Sandra Vargas, and Gricelda Ruiz that they are petitioning the state to send their children to other, more successful schools sheds light on the need to empower parents.
“Clearly, the status quo is failing these children,” he said “Why is there any question that something must be done immediately to rectify the deficient education these students are receiving? Parents need to be given options to force immediate change in the schools their children attend, rather than wait for their pleas to be answered by others.”
Kyrillos is the sponsor of S-803, The Parent Empowerment and Choice Act. The legislation, commonly called the “parent trigger”, would allow a majority of parents in a failing school to force the following changes: (1) reopening as a charter school, (2) changes in school administrators including but not limited to the principal, (3) establishment of a tuition voucher program. The board of education or State district superintendent must grant the change if a majority of parents in the school in question sign the petition.
“The parent trigger legislation I’ve sponsored would allow these parents, as well as those of other children in the school, to take matters into their own hands,” he said. “It is frustrating to me that the system is rigged against change in poorly performing schools to the detriment of students. This has to change.”
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