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IE parents may use 'Trigger' law for major changes at school

January 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
With some of the lowest test scores in the state and the third principal in three years, parents of students at Desert Trails Elementary in Adelanto are trying to take control of their children's education.

"There's low expectations, there's not a belief that our children can achieve," said parent Cynthia Ramirez.

Parents are hoping to be the first school in the state to take advantage of what's called the "Parent Trigger" law, which gives parents the power to make major changes at a school.

The law has many provisions, one of which is to gather the signatures of more than half the schools' parents, which they say they've done.

"It's my daughter's future and if we parents don't do it, it isn't done, so we have to," Ramirez said.

Parents now have a number of options. They can ask that the principal be removed. Or, they can ask that it become a charter school. They say right now, everything is on the table.

"We want to have the ability to hire a principal, and then for him to have the control over staff, curriculum and finances," said parent Doreen Diaz.

The school's current principal, David Mobley, said he just wants what is in the best interest of the children.

"If I am the person for the position I'll be here, if I'm not I won't be. I'm not worried about that. I want what's best for these students," he said.

Mobley met with several parents Friday morning to talk about ways to meet their expectations.

"I think right now one of the biggest obstacles facing our school is unity. I believe within time we're all going to be working side by side, rolling up our sleeves, and doing the work that needs to be done," said Mobley.

However, parents said if they don't see the changes they'd like to see, then they will proceed with a charter application.