Money Withheld From Sparks Charter School

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A beleaguered Sparks charter school is facing more problems after a judge has ordered the withholding of state money.

Washoe District Judge Steve Kosach has ordered the withholding of the Nevada Leadership Academy's first quarterly $92,000 payment from the state distributive school fund until legal issues are resolved.

The school, struggling to remain open despite financial and other problems cited by school district overseers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

In an annual review conducted in May, the Washoe County School District cited 17 deficiencies.

School board members are scheduled to vote next week on whether to revoke the school's charter.

School Trustee Anne Loring said the bankruptcy is separate from the other deficiencies the board will consider in the revocation hearing.

"Revocation would be based solely on what we've given them the 90 days to deal with,"she said.

Academy Administrator Lee DeBurle said he's hoping to have the state funding issue solved by Friday but wouldn't speculate about what would happen if the school could not meet payroll or runs out of money.

"We're pressing ahead,"DeBurle told the Reno Gazette-Journal."I can't speak to things that aren't in concrete."

The academy has posted signs on campus that state applications are being accepted. DeBurle said classes would start as scheduled Aug. 25 with about 60 children.

DeBurle said he's been speaking with business leaders about restructuring and continues to seek donations.