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'Parent-trigger' petition improperly rejected - judge

The Adelanto School District is seen in this undated file photo.

July 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge ruled that a San Bernardino County school district abused its discretion when it rejected a "parent-trigger" petition for reforms at a failing elementary school.

District officials have not commented. The "parent-trigger" law allows parents to force reforms at a failing school. The ruling paves the way for the first use of the controversial law.

Parents want to take control at Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto and possibly change the school into a charter school.

In a decision handed down late Friday, Superior Court Judge Steve Malone ordered the Adelanto School District to accept the petition filed by the Desert Trails Parents Union within 30 days and to immediately seek proposals from charter school operators to take over Desert Trails Elementary School.

The Adelanto school board twice rejected the petition earlier this year. This is the second time parents have tried to use the "parent-trigger" law. The last effort was in Compton, but it failed because of problems with the petition.