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Senate OKs faster ‘parent trigger’ for struggling schools

April 15, 2015

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has approved a proposal allowing a majority of parents in a school district to petition for closing struggling public schools in three years — rather than the current five.

Texas was one of the first states to pass a “parent trigger” law when it was approved in 2011. That allows parents to collect signatures that can force changes in administrators, or even close schools, after five years of poor state ratings.

But Friendswood Republican Sen. Larry Taylor wants that process to start faster. The chairman of the Senate Education Committee, he says parent trigger campaigns energize communities and force improvements at schools even without having to close them.

Taylor’s plan passed 25-6 Wednesday and heads to the House. He introduced a similar measure that stalled in 2013.