The tone of the opponents in this debate over charter schools sounds disturbingly like the school funding debates of the seventies in Australia!

Furious parents hijack US public schools.

So in 2011 Diaz and a group of parents took radical action and suddenly found themselves at the centre of one of America’s new culture-war battlegrounds, the conflict over the rise of charter schools – schools that are largely publicly funded but operated by private companies.

Diaz and her friends began to use a controversial new Californian law, known as the parent trigger, that allows groups of parents to sack their school district, take over its administration and select a private operator to run their school as a charter.

The law has appealed so directly to conservatives – and to some liberals – across the country that it has spread fast, especially in the South, where distrust of government institutions is ingrained. It is estimated that since California passed the law it has become so widespread 25 per cent of American parents live in areas covered by parent trigger laws.

Driving the spread and use of the laws is a non-profit organisation called Parent Revolution. Parent Revolution helped Diaz and her friends pull the trigger at Desert Trails and is now in contact with parents from another two dozen schools, according to its founder, Ben Austin.

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