In the wake of Superior Court Judge Steve Malone’s historic July 18 ruling in favor of the Desert Trails Parent Union (DTPU) Parent Trigger Petition, the Adelanto school board on Friday night, August 17, voted to flagrantly violate Judge Malone’s order and to continue its never ending attempts to preserve the status quo at any cost.
“As parents with children trapped in a failing school, we are disappointed our district refused to comply with the judge’s order, but certainly not surprised,” said Doreen Diaz, lead coordinator for the DTPU. “Regardless, we will continue to follow Judge Malone’s order and will move forward with the RFP process as set out in the order.”
“For us, this shows a school board out-of-touch with what our children are being denied at Desert Trails Elementary School: the opportunity to succeed. Our district – which is close to broke – has already spent over $100,000 on lawyers to fight our efforts, and apparently wants to spend even more.”
“We are aware the district has no cash reserve and we know it has had to borrow millions of dollars from restricted funds to meet payroll. If they have money to spend, it should be on the children in our school and not on lawyers,” Diaz added.
The school board waited until 8:00 p.m. PST on Friday, August 17 to announce its decision, the last day of the 30-day response period required by law.
In issuing his ruling, Judge Malone specifically wrote:
“[The] Adelanto School District and Adelanto School District Board of Trustees are hereby commanded to… allow Petitioners to immediately begin the process of soliciting and selecting charter school proposals.”
“Judge Malone’s order is quite explicit, but the district has made a conscious decision to ignore Judge Malone’s order,” said Mark Holscher of Kirkland & Ellis, pro-bono counsel for the parent petitioners.
“This decision will have legal consequences for the district, and we are prepared to use all available legal remedies to make sure Judge Malone’s order is followed,” Holscher said.
The parents are following the process mandated in Judge Malone’s ruling on July 18. The process is moving forward, and the parents consider the board’s action a bump-in-the-road rather than a road block. Their focus is on abiding by the law, following the judge’s order, and doing what is right for their kids at Desert Trails. They will not be deterred.