A group of California parents has cleared a legal hurdle to become the first in the nation to take over a failing elementary school under a “parent trigger law,” a legal tool gaining popularity around the country.
San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Steve Malone has ruled that parents in Adelanto, a desert town 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles, should be allowed to implement the state’s trigger law, which says that a majority of families at a struggling school can force major changes, from firing the principal to closing the school and reopening it as an independent charter. All they need to do to wrest control is sign a petition.
At a Los Angeles gathering to celebrate the decision, the parents said they hoped to set an example for the nation of what is possible. “Our children will now get the education they deserve,” said Doreen Diaz, whose daughter attends Desert Trails Elementary in Adelanto. “We are on the way to making a quality school for them, and there’s no way we will back down.”