Wayne Washington reported in the AJC that Ivy Prep Academy At Kirkwood will spend $14 million to buy the strip mall in which it is located. It’s raising some questions, as Washington reports,
It’s one solution to the most vexing problem charters face — finding a permanent facility. But the deal means the school, Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood, must collect rent, manage and repair property and face the prospect, if its three other tenants move, of losing the rental income used to help pay off $14 million in bonds used to purchase the property.
School systems spend a great deal of time and money on items outside of education.
- Every day DeKalb Schools serves 26,000 breakfasts and 4,600 after school snacks.
- Whitefoord Elementary, in APS, houses Whitefoord Family Medical Center providing comprehensive family primary health care.
- The west wing of New Birth church is home to the Leadership Prep Academy where DeKalb Schools pays $10,000/month for rent.
What is the role of the school system? The question is, “Should these schools be real estate developers?” asked state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. As Washington reports,
“The deal allowed Ivy Prep, in operation since 2011, to spend $11.2 million to purchase the strip mall on Memorial Drive where it was once one of four tenants along with a Pizza Hut, a LIV Fitness center and the Kirkwood Family Medicine clinic. The school building had been the site for another charter school that failed.
Those tenants will now pay about $21,000 a month in rent to Ivy Prep, which itself was paying $31,250 per month before buying the strip mall.”
Continue reading Wayne Washington’s article in the AJC here >>
The move to purchase the property was a smart choice. The rent payments that Ivy Prep pay take dollars out of the classroom. Without the benefit of a “free facility” like all the system schools in DeKalb Ivy Prep is at a financial disadvantage. The purchase of the building also reassures me that the school will not have to change location anytime soon at the whim of a landlord. Senator Vincent Fort never has anything positive to say about any charter school that operates outside of the top-heavy metro school districts.