Local charter school may close due to financial troubles

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by Stephanie Zepelin

NWCN.com

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 2:23 AM

GARDEN CITY -- Da Vinci Charter School opened about seven years ago. Cindy Hoovel's been the director for six years.

"I took over a pretty interesting situation, and they were pretty highly in debt when it started. So we brought them out of that," said the Da Vinci Charter School Director, Cindy Hoovel.

Hoovel said she worked to fix school finances and keep a balanced budget.

"We are a small school, we like it that way. But it's pretty hard for a school under 200 students to make it financially," said Hoovel.

Da Vinci has 128 students. Still, Hoovel said they got the school out of debt and even had a reserve fund, until the summer of 2011.

"Then just a few weeks before school was out, the landlord said, 'you're not matching up to our business model so we're not going to renew your lease,'" said Hoovel.

So they moved to a new lot, and put up mobile classrooms.
    
"That move ended up making a lot of unexpected costs that even all our projections couldn't have come through and known about," said Hovel

Wednesday, folks from the school broke the news to parents.

"I knew there were some struggles with the school but we didn't think it was that bad, so it was kind of a shock," said Eric Narad. His son Julian is in first grade

"I love this school and it was really a good school so I'll miss it," said Julian

Diana Holdridge drove both of her daughters to school here from Nampa.

"We're very sad. It's been a really great experience for them to be here for four years, I mean it was just about four," said Holdridge. "So we're very sad it's closing."

Hoovel is holding out for a miracle--some kind of big donation to save the school. She said Da Vinci needs $150,000 to finish out the school year, and it would take $300,000 to keep Da Vinci open long term.

Some parents are already finding other schools for their children to attend.

The Meridian School District says they will accommodate any kids that come their way.

Dan Hollar with the Boise School District says they have space at a number of schools.

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