Dear Community Members,
We know an update is overdue yet some how the weeks keep flying by with so much work that sometimes we fall behind on our job of communication. Our capital campaign continues to take baby steps toward land acquisition, and our eventual relocation of Pine Forest School.
Maybe you have heard the question, why haven’t we moved yet? Why don’t we have a new school, maybe that question is top of your mind too, the answer comes down to money. When the United States took a hit economically it changed the financing industry drastically and Pine Forest has been stuck with this challenge, which has slowed down our move to a new location and a better parking lot. Banks have tightened their lending practices; bonds are expensive and have timelines that are not realistic for our school to meet. Meanwhile Arizona Department of Education keeps reducing our paycheck, and our increased enrollment just barely seems to keep up with the cuts, leaving no extra money in our general budget to support an additional debt payment at this current time. Base Salaries of teachers have been frozen for two years and year last year and this no teacher received pay increases of any kind. Pine Forest has implemented things like activity fees and gone after every tax-credit dollar we can to support our extra-curricula and enriched learning activities, however each month we still struggle like many of you to make ends meet. Yet we are not willing to give up our goal of a new school for all our students and families and we continue to look at creative ways to solve the first step of this, which is to get land.
We continue to seriously negotiate on a piece of land as well as research creative financing. We have a couple options one: we would do this with the formation of an investment LLC. An LLC would be formed, including Pine Forest School, with all partners having an ownership percentage equal to their investment. The LLC would then purchase the land and hold it until the school raises the additional capital and/or obtains the financing necessary to complete the construction of the new school campus or buy out the other partners. Another option is working with Rudolf Steiner Foundation. We are hoping that one of these models will allow us to take advantage on the current piece of property we are looking at, and then allow the school the time it needs to continue its capital campaign, and budgeting that will hopefully eventually lead us to be able to either build the school outright with cash raised or support a debt service equal to the funds we need to build a school.
On other news you may have noticed in our newsletter our calendar of events for big fundraising efforts. We are working on raising $50k by June 30th for general school funding. We hope you can help, this is certainly a team effort, so if you have some extra time and are willing to roll up your sleeves and put some work in please contact me.
We have put off the serious push of our pledge drive until we can secure land, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need your help, if you can support us now with a payment of $25 a month that adds up to $300 a year for our capital campaign or maybe you can do more like a $100 a month that is $1200 per year, 100% of these donations are tax-deductable, and we need your help more now then ever so that we can grow our capital campaign account.
Our Capital Campaign: To relocate our school to a location that will allow us to realize the full potential of our curriculum and create space for growth into the future.