The following was written by Andrea Perri, a Freedom Academy founding member who wrote Freedom Academy's initial budget and has been very involved in budget decisions as a member of the Board for many years:
We need to be focusing our attention as well as our money on our K-8
students. Their safety and highest education should be goal #1. These
are very hard times right now financially. To add additional high
payments when we have no idea what budgets are in store for us next year
is not just financially unsound -- it's downright scary. The state
money per student (WPU) and that is what they are to use to pay for a
facility as well as teachers and administrators.
We have already
undergone many state and federal budget cuts over the last few years,
causing us to make the following decisions:
* cutting specialties
* cutting teacher prep time
* moving Mr. Neilsen from a full-time administrator to a part-time one and then eliminating that position altogether
* cutting janitorial
* cutting teachers' 401k benefits.
like all these need to be put back in place before we look at adding
additional expenses based on what the administration thinks they are
going to have for the high school enrollment. If there are not enough
based on what they had budgeted for the money has to come from
somewhere. The only place to get money would be from the younger
grades. This could sink our successful K-8 school. Why
should the younger children pay for the expenses for the older grades?
Another option they could look at would be to bring in more junior high
kids or move junior high to the other building and add additional
elementary students. Anyway you look at that you are potentially
messing with the magic we have had. It is too soon with not enough
enrolled students to move forward and it is not in the best interest of
the students or the neighborhood to proceed on the current site. There
is not enough acreage to properly facilitate both.
We need to
focus on making what we have better before we look at starting something
new. I know there are a lot of people that have put in hundreds of hours
on this, but sometimes you need to sacrifice for the greater good and
that is what needs to happen now. Put aside the personal agendas and
pride and make the difficult but right decision. We need to wait for the
right time and the right site before proceeding with the high school at this time.