About nine months ago, at a small park playground a few hundred feet from their children’s struggling school, a group of parents chanted, cheered and delivered passionate speeches about their growing frustration with Desert Trails Elementary, says the Hechinger Report. That Jan. 12 park rally — which drew a throng of camera crews and reporters from around the state to the tiny desert city of Adelanto, Calif. — marked the beginning of a bitter battle in the national spotlight. That was when the Desert Trails Parent Union announced its petition to use the so-called “parent trigger” law to force a major overhaul of a school. They hoped to become the first parent group in the nation to do so. On Thursday, that same park is set to become a makeshift polling place where those parents will make history. With a court ruling last week permitting the vote to go forward, parents who signed the petition last winter now have the chance to cast a ballot on the charter school operator they want to take over their neighborhood school next fall. As permitted by law, the vote won’t include parents who opposed the charter conversion or declined to be part of the petition process…

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staff and wire services reports