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'Parent Trigger Law' efforts hindered by errors

February 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A group of parents in Adelanto is trying to become the first to enact what's known as the "Parent Trigger" in their children's school. The "Parent Trigger Law" allows parents to make major changes at their kids' underperforming schools. Efforts in Adelanto have hit a road block.

For the group of parents, the bad news came Wednesday night when the Adelanto School Board rejected their petition, saying there were a number of problems with the signatures, problems like errors in student names, inaccurate student grade levels and inconsistent spelling of parents' names.

The board also claimed that nearly 100 parents had asked to be taken off the petition. So now the group trying to pull the "parent trigger" has 60 days to address these issues and go back to the school board.

"It's just another part of the battle, we're not giving up, we're still here and we will get results for the children," said parent Melody Medrano.

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

"We want someone who can actually control the curriculum, control who teaches at the school, and if the teachers aren't up to satisfaction, actually dismiss them," said parent Holly Odenbaugh.

This is the second time parents have tried to pull the "parent trigger." The last effort was in Compton. It failed, also because of problems with the petition.

But even if these parents are successful, will making severe changes at this school help?

Adelanto School District Superintendent Darin Brawley said ".... It's more complicated than just changing a school into a charter school, and giving the people the right to hire and fire. There are examples of great charter schools, and examples of bad ones."

Regardless, even if they get enough signatures, it's ultimately up to a school board vote as to whether those changes can be made at the school.

If parents don't agree with the board's decision? It's unclear where they would go from there -- no one's gotten this far before.

If there's one thing both sides agree on, it's that they want to do what's best for the children.

And if there's something else they can agree on, it's that this matter will probably end up in a courtroom.