Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How Can We Afford This?

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 gives schools 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 services
* cutting teachers' 401k benefits.

I feel 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 students 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.


Andrea Perri


  1. I found Andrea's words completely enlightening. I have wondered how Freedom Academy could pay for the substantial expense of expanding on or off-site.
    It is unthinkable to take funding from the K-8 students to support the high school.
    It would be in the best interest of the budget, faculty, students and neighborhood to focus on the K-8 and forget on-site expansion. The cost is too great--in too many ways.

  2. I really think that Andrea is thinking logically and I applaud her.


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