Panel advances parent trigger bill in House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Legislation that would allow parents to decide the fate of a struggling school is advancing in the House.

The so-called parent trigger legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis was approved 9-4 in the House Education Committee on Wednesday.

Sponsors say the measure, which failed last year, gives parents a say-so at the table and another option to better educate their children.

Under the proposal, if 51 percent of parents at a school in the bottom 10 percent of failing schools believe a drastic change is needed, they can then select from several "turnaround models." For instance, they may want to convert it to a charter school or change the administrators.

An amendment was added that prevents parents from being coerced by outside groups in making their decisions.

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