DaVinci's first day without students
The DaVinci Charter School still stands in Garden City. But, with no students, the empty classrooms serve as a reminder of what went wrong. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The DaVinci Charter School still stands in Garden City. But, with no students, the empty classrooms serve as a reminder of what went wrong.
"It all boils back to facilities,” says DaVinci director Cindy Hoovel, “because what happened here started with the summer before last, when our landlord moved in a tactical firearms store next to the kindergarten, and they put in a brewery, and then just a few weeks before school was out, said we just didn't match up to his business model."
That's why a bill at the Statehouse aims at tackling the issue of how charter schools pay for their facilities.
"Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not have the ability to go to their voters and get property tax funding through bond levies or plant facility levies to pay for their buildings," says bill presenter Ken Burgess.
Burgess says charter schools have to dip in other important funds to pay the rent.
“They have to take money out of that pot,” he says, “which is ostensibly there for education programs and hiring teachers, to use to pay for their facilities."
So, Burgess wants to present a bill to help pay for charter school buildings. That funding would increase each year until it's about 50 percent of the budget traditional schools get.
It's too late to save DaVinci, but Burgess says it may keep other schools from closing.