Rep. Ed Lindsey

Rep. Ed Lindsey

A bill that would allow parents and teachers to more easily convert their schools into a charter school has passed the Georgia House of Representatives.

The bill is officially known as the Parent and Teacher Empowerment Act, but has been informally referred to as a “parent trigger” bill.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Lindsey, flips the burden of denying a charter on to a local school board. Under the bill, any school can petition to become a charter school regardless of academic performance. In addition, the bill gives parents and teachers at low-performing schools the option to petition to change the school’s management.

“The legislation now outlines several turnaround procedures for a low-achieving school’s administration and the parents or teachers who wish to undertake such measures,” a press release from the House Communications office says. “If any petition, conversion or turnaround, is supported by more than sixty percent of parents or teachers, the board must have a two-thirds vote to reject the petition. The board must act within sixty days of receiving said petition.”

Lindsey has said that the bill provides one option for parents.

“As I have said in the past, charter schools are not the silver bullet to fix Georgia’s education problems—there is no silver bullet,” Lindsey said in the press release. “I believe that options must exist so children across the state may live up to their full potential. This bill will further the viability of options for parents and teachers across the state. House Bill 123 reflects my approach to not only serve the constituents in State House District 54, but the state of Georgia as a whole.”

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