Statement Regarding I-Lead Filing Federal Complaint
The Reading School District has been made aware of a complaint filed by I-LEAD Charter School against the District, as well as certain current and former School Board Members. The District has forwarded the complaint to its legal counsel for review.
- The District followed the appropriate procedure under the Pennsylvania School Code and particularly under the Charter School Law.
- In fact, in order to preserve the integrity of the process, the District’s administration was represented by independent counsel while the School District utilized the services of a hearing officer from an outside firm, which has not and does not provide legal services to the District. I-LEAD Charter School specifically recognized that the hearing officer was an “impartial” attorney.
- The six-day revocation proceedings included extensive testimony by both the District’s administration and the Charter School’s representatives. Numerous witnesses and documents from both sides were accepted into the record. A public comment period was provided and all public comment was included in the record. All School Board votes regarding revocation of I-LEAD’s Charter were made at a public meeting, which likewise included a public comment period.
- After review of the entire record, the School Board members ultimately voted in favor of revocation, which was consistent with the Findings and Recommendation submitted by the hearing officer. His Findings and Recommendation are also part of the public record.
- The Charter School Law sets forth the appropriate procedure for appealing the School Board’s determination. Rather than following that process, I-LEAD Charter School has instead filed suit against the District and Board members in federal court, which will only further waste the already scarce funds of both the Charter School and the District that would better be used for the education of students.