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BCIU to run Reading School District

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 14 2014 09:30:12 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 08:30:41 AM CST

The Berks County Intermediate Unit will now run the Reading School District to try and bring it out of turmoil.

READING, Pa. -

The Berks County Intermediate Unit will now run the Reading School District to try and bring it out of turmoil.

On Tuesday night, the school board gave the go ahead during a special meeting.

John George, the executive director of BCIU has been offering up help for six years. Now that the board accepted, he has five months to try and help the struggling district.

"I think it's an awesome beginning and a way for us all to start over again," said Judy Speicher, a teacher in the district.

A start over was required after the former Superintendent, Dr. Carlina Purcell was fired, two board members recently resigned and the district was left facing a major budget blunder.

"We know past practices haven't worked. This is certainly one solution, but it may not be the solution," said George, who added BCIU will put employees in key administrative positions until the end of the school year.

George now has the tough job to try and bring change as the acting superintendent. Tuesday night the school board agreed to pay $290,000 to BCIU to help search for a new superintendent, help establish a new curriculum, help create a 2014-15 budget and get the district's troubled finances in order.

"The intermediate unit has resources available and we want to bring those resources to the table," said George.

The board voted 6 - 1 and showed they still do not see eye to eye.

"I think there are aspects of the proposal that are good, but overall I don't think it's good," said Pierre Cooper, who was the sole member who voted no.