The costs of staffing, equipping and running a school can rarely be covered solely by tuition. As our society becomes more secularized, government funding is not an option and grants from private sources are intensely competitive. Thus fundraising and donations are vital for keeping the cost of tuition as affordable as possible. Although we generally do not enjoy selling candy bars or discount cards, they are vital components of every private school's budget, large or small.
Dare we say that every group of visionaries who ever started a Christian school envisioned facilities like the ones in the illustration above. The reality is that for every well-funded sprawling Christian school campus there are probably 99 schools operating from church Sunday school rooms, leased buildings, store fronts, and homes. As a result, the gap between parent expectations for extracurricular sports and academic offerings and the ability to deliver them is usually too wide for small schools to bridge. Our predecessor school tried valiantly to do so but often lost students to larger Christian schools in neighboring cities, or to the public schools because it simply could not field sports teams.
Of the Christian schools in the greater Ashland area, two have been doing the Lord's work the longest. Rose Hill Christian School was founded in the early 1980's and Holy Family School was founded in the 1860's. Both are closely associated with their sponsor churches and offer a range of extracurricular activities. Even so, they must conduct fundraisers to fully fund their budgets.
Christian school boards cannot simply raise taxes or enact levies when their baseline operating expenses rise. The money to ensure that children are educated in a Christian atmosphere comes from you, plain and simple. Large or small, when Christian school children (or their parents) ask you to buy a candy bar, a discount coupon, a raffle ticket, or attend a pancake breakfast, know that it is for a good cause. It could be for playground equipment, it could be for a senior trip, or it could be to ensure that the next payroll is met.
Pray for the families, staff and boards of Christian schools like Lifelong Learning Christian Academy. The wrenching decisions they made last week happen all the time, all over this country.