DENVER (CBS4)- A bill up for debate at the state Capitol would give parents the ability to close a school with a simple petition. Only the school board could stop the process and only for limited reasons.
The Colorado Parent Teacher Association is concerned about the legislation. The organization is worried the bill makes it too easy to close a school.
Supporters argue it shouldn’t be that hard to close one.
“What we’re doing is empowering parents to take action in those lowest performing schools,” said Rep. Don Beezley, R-Broomfield.
Beezley said under his bill, if 50 percent of parents in a school sign a petition, they force the district to convert the school into a charter school, or close completely and give those students priority placement in a school of their choice.
The Colorado Board of Education would have final say.
“If we can address result problems in lowest-performing schools, what we’ll be doing is leveraging those education dollars,” said Beezley.
Julieta Quinonez is part of a Denver parent group that has fought for school reform for years.
“Voices are heard only after we rattle the cage a lot,” said Quinonez. “The more pressure districts feel from the community from parents about changes that need to happen in education the more likely they’ll act on it.”