Any statistician will tell you: it’s hard to count. Hard to count accurately, hard to count properly: hard, often, even to figure out what to count.  But that’s the job.  It’s all about counting.

California’s “parent trigger” law should involve counting signatures from a majority of all stakeholders in a school, not just its current enrolled families. That means, all taxpayers – heck, all residents must be properly counted, including underage ones and childless ones and homeless ones — all those with a stake in the community of the school. All-residents is the proper denominator of stakeholders in a public school by virtue of (a) their being members of the public (community stakeholders in the school) and (b) their having paid for that public school via taxes.

A public school is a public asset that benefits one and all in a community, present and future. Its fate should be decided by appropriately-identified stakeholders: the full population living within a school’s official catchment boundaries. Not just its potential enrollees, but everyone in that community.

p.s.  Imagine the size of the denominator that counted all past taxpayers who have contributed to that public asset since its inception.  Contemplate that triggering threshold.  But it is the proper one.  The entire affected community of stakeholders must properly be polled before removing this public asset from the public’s trust.