In the Adelanto Elementary School District, a school choice battle is underway. Although parents successfully executed the parent trigger option to transforming failing Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter school. The school board took this decision to court, and a judge upheld the rights of the parents. The school board, however, refused to comply. In response, the Desert Trails Parent Union (DTPU) took the case to Victorville Superior Court to order the school district to comply with his earlier ruling. This month, they have secured a victory!
Judge John P. VanderFeer requested an order to enforce the writ of mandate requiring the district to implement a charter school on the site of Desert Trails by September 2013. Although the school district argued that there was not time to convert the school to a charter school by the next school year. VanderFeer determined that there is not “anything that says the requested intervention could not be implemented the following year,” He went on to say that “I understand there’s no case law on this issue,” Vander Feer said, “so we’re left alone where we are.”
This ruling means that the parent trigger law has been successfully invoked for the first time. Barry Green, attorney for Adelando School District, said that “The organization behind DTPU is a special interest,” Green said in court. “And we’re supposed to be the big bad school district. The school district is trying to do what was best.” However, the school district has failed to do their job; to effectively educate children.
Parents have become even more passionate about school choice as the fight with the school district dragged on. “Believe it or not, I want to actually thank the district,” Teresa Rogers said. “Instead of making parents who would accept `no,’ they made advocates. We will be advocates the rest of our lives.”
Doreen Diaz, president of the DTPU said “It’s a huge victory for our kids…. We came this far because we worked together as a team.” The group has been preparing for success, evaluating proposals from both the Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley and the LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy. A decision is expected to be announced on Thursday, and children in Adelanto can look forward to a better school and a brighter future.