Future uncertain for I-LEAD Charter School in Reading

READING, Pa. - The fate of the I-LEAD Charter School in Reading could be sealed in the days ahead.

About a year ago, the Reading School Board decided to close the school, and there's been a legal battle ever since.

On Tuesday, attorneys for I-LEAD and the Reading School District will go before an appeals board with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

"It's our day in front of the state court in making a very factual argument on why we are relevant here in the city of Reading," said Angel Figueroa, I-LEAD's CEO.

I-LEAD has served at risk students in grades nine through 12 since 2011.

The Reading School Board said the school failed to demonstrate academic progress.

"Our first interest in the education of our children and their performance has not served the children of Reading well," said Bernardo Carbajal, the vice-president of the Reading School Board.

Carbajal said the district worked with I-LEAD to get test scores up, to no avail.

"Under charter school law, a charter school has to do as well or better than public school in the home district," he said.

Figueroa argues the decision had more to do with politics and said the school is working with students who are behind academically.

"[It] is clear reflection of Reading School District and their kids coming into our school. We're running an academic trauma center," Figueroa told 69 News.

Carbajal said Tuesday's hearing is the last, and the state will decide in June whether I-LEAD will close.

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