LOS ANGELES – The first time Amabilia Villeda tried to fix her children’s school, she joined several dozen fellow parents and teachers in a protest outside 24th Street Elementary.
That was three years ago. Villeda and the rest of the loosely organized group believed the struggling school just a few miles west of downtown Los Angeles needed a jolt. They collected a couple hundred signatures from parents and community members who decided the first step toward improving the abysmal test scores and poor campus climate should be to oust the principal, Villeda recalled.
But they didn’t make much of an impact. None of the school or district officials really seemed to notice, Villeda said, and the effort folded quietly.
The 41-year-old mother of three expects Thursday to be different. That’s because she and fellow parents have formed their own union, spurred to action by California’s so-called “parent trigger” law and the well-funded education advocacy group Parent Revolution.
“We have the opportunity to make a change at this school because now we have the right support to do it,” Villeda said in Spanish. “They weren’t listening to us before, and with the law, now they’re listening.”