EL CENTRO, Calif. -
Imagine Schools Imperial Valley will not be reopening next school year.
The petition to reopen the school was rejected in a 3-2 vote by the Imperial County Office of Education board of trustees on Monday.
This decision comes after ICOE released a list of 20 recommended conditions for approval of the charter school on Friday. ICOE recommended a 5-year renewal of the charter if all 20 conditions in the memorandum could be met.
“I think that’s the best decision possible for the students of Imperial County, I implore the Imagine Schools teachers to take the passion they have to the public schools their kids are at now,” said Peggy Emmanuel, teacher for the Brawley Elementary School District.
Ultimately, the ICOE board of trustees believed the charter renewal of the Imagine Schools was not in the best interest of the community.
Board trustee, Dr. Victor Jaime voted against the charter renewal, adding the decision was a difficult one.
Jaime said the petition approval of Imagine School would have diverted funding from public school’s to the charter.
“I believe that the decision today, was not made for the kids, it was made based on politics and money,” said Grace Jimenez, principal of Imagine Schools Imperial Valley.
“From some of the comments made by the board members it seemed like they did not review the recommendation that was given to them by their own staff,” said Jimenez.
Ana E. Haro's two daughters were students at Imagine School.
“I feel like the board of trustees is not hearing the community, they are only seeing what’s in their own interest for public schools,” said Haro.
“They are not listening to the needs we have for our children,” Haro said.
Haro added that she will continue to support Imagine School.
Imagine Schools says they have 400 families that support the school’s program.
“Stay strong, they shook us, but we are not broken,” said Zinnia Villa, former teacher of Imagine Schools.