Last month I wrote about an attempt in Anaheim, CA to privatize the management of another public school, using the so-called Parent Trigger law.
The law, which turns parent against parent in a community, gives a temporary majority, who are willing (often cajoled) to sign a petition, the power to hand their public school over to a private company. That company can then fire the principal and all the teachers as well as abrogate the district's collective bargaining agreement. It doesn't matter if next week, or next year, the majority shifts. The school can be privatized and there's little district parents and taxpayers can do about it.
Well, there is something they can do and they did it Thursday in Anaheim when the school board found that the petition submitted by a group of Palm Lane Elementary School parents failed to collect enough valid signatures to privatize the school.
According to a story in the Orange County Register, about 130 of the Palm Lane Elementary parents' signatures were determined to be invalid or unverified. Some parents signed the petition twice or two parents of one student signed the petition.
The privatization move at Palm Lane was backed by former State Sen. Gloria Romero's consulting group. the California Center for Parent Empowerment. Romero, a Democrat, has become the darling of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch Bros. and receives funding from Walton, Broad and other powerful anti-union, pro-privatization foundations.
The discredited petition effort was also aided by the Hesperia, Calif.-based privatization consulting firm, Excellent Educational Solutions.