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Effort to convert Compton school to charter draws fire

December 11, 2010 |  1:30 pm

Compton school

Tempers flared Friday over the fate of a low-performing Compton elementary school that has become the first target of a new law allowing parents to mandate school shutdowns or charter-school conversions through a petition drive.

Some parents are rescinding their signatures to convert McKinley Elementary into a charter school that would operate outside the direct control of the Compton Unified School District. Under the state's new "parent-trigger" law, which is being scrutinized nationwide, the signatures of at least half the parents at a campus are required to launch the changes.

But that 50% threshold could be at risk at McKinley. Opponents say that 50 to 60 parents have withdrawn their support, which could push the total number of remaining signatures close to the minimum level required.

"They told me the petition was to beautify the school," said Karla Garcia, whose two children attend McKinley. "They are misinforming the parents, so I revoked my signature."

Read the full story here.

-- Teresa Watanabe and Howard Blume

Photo: Cynthia Martinez, center, demonstrates against converting McKinley Elementary in Compton to a charter school. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times