School return bill clears Senate

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The state Senate unanimously backed a bill Saturday that would set up a “parent trigger” law for poor-performing schools in the Recovery School District, moving the proposal one step from final passage.

House Bill 115, sponsored by state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, would let parents petition the state-run Recovery School District, called RSD, to return a school back to local control if that school has earned a “D” or “F” grade from the state for five consecutive years.

It would take parents of a majority of the students signing the petition. Students must have been attending the school for at least two years in order for their parents to sign.

The Recovery School District is run by the state Department of Education to manage chronically low-performing schools. It currently operates 80 schools around the state, including 68 in New Orleans and eight in Baton Rouge.

The proposal heads back to the Louisiana House for approval of Senate changes.