Readers in this forum might recall discussion of a California law known as the Parent Trigger. It’s the subject of a new Hollywood movie — “Won’t Back Down” — and a five-page feature in the latest Bloomberg Businessweek.

Fed up, [parent Doreen] Diaz joined forces with a small group of other frustrated moms and dads and decided there was only one way for parents to improve Desert Trails: Take it over. Under California’s so-called parent trigger law, passed in 2010, if at least 50 percent of parents at a persistently failing school sign a petition to wrest control, they can pursue one of four options: (1) force the school district to bring in new staff; (2) force the school district to replace the school’s principal and make other changes, such as modifying teacher contracts or creating smaller classes; (3) convert the school into a charter; or (4) close the school entirely. The law applies at both public and charter schools.

As of September three states have adopted versions of California’s legislation: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Another 12 are considering whether to follow suit. In June the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously endorsed trigger laws. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, now grappling with the city’s first teachers’ strike in 25 years, has said he plans to introduce the legislation there. Los Angeles’ Antonio Villaraigosa and Newark’s Cory Booker have also praised the parent trigger concept. On the Republican side, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are supporters.

Carolina Journal Radio listeners and viewers learned more about this topic last year, when the Heartland Institute’s Bruno Behrend dissected the Parent Trigger concept.