$8.5M goes to charter school | TheUnion.com

$8.5M goes to charter school

Students of Yuba River Charter School will soon have a new campus. The school recently received an $8.5 million grant from the state to build a new facility.

The funds come from Measure 1D, passed by voters in 2006 to raise $10.4 billion to modernize and build new facilities for schools, from kindergarten to the university level. The measure allocated $500 million to charter schools.

Yuba River Charter, based on the Waldorf method of instruction, is one of 29 charter schools statewide to receive money from the measure, Director Caleb Buckley said.

“As a charter school, we get no state funding for our facilities,” Buckley said. “We are paying a quarter of a million dollars a year for rent. A brand-new campus will be cheaper than what we pay now.”

The school will have to pay back half of the grant money to the state at a low interest rate over the next 30 years, Buckley said.

“Last year, when we applied for the grant, the (pay-back) rate was 5 percent,” Buckley said. “It looks like it’ll be 3 percent next year.”

The school will get the first installment of $500,000 within a month, Buckley said.

Though administrators haven’t decided where they will buy property, the land is expected to be within a 3-mile radius of the current campus on Bitney Springs Road, in accordance with a clause in the grant, Buckley said.

“We really want to accentuate the community spaces – have a big community room or a gymnasium,” Buckley said of the new facility.

“The trade off will be, we’ll probably have simpler classrooms,” Buckley said. “Rather than make the interiors of the classes very fancy, we’ll use it to build something like an auditorium that can be used by all the kids.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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