Cannon Beach Academy, which faced possible closure before the end of the school year due to financial woes, will continue to operate thanks to a major donation and several pledges.
Concerns about whether the public charter school could remain open past April arose three months ago after board members identified a $75,000 shortfall in their budget.
The financial situation was due to lower-than-expected enrollment and unpaid pledges.
After news of the potential closure broke, the academy received “a surge of support,” said Amy Fredrickson, the school’s executive director. The school began receiving many of the missing pledges — including a $33,000 pledge that originally was not going to be paid until the end of the school year.
A surprise $20,000 donation from Tim and Rhonda Snider, who recently moved to Cannon Beach, also helped, Fredrickson said. The family has also pledged to match up to $20,000 in additional donations until June.
The donations have helped the academy come “very, very close” to addressing the shortfall, Fredrickson said.
“I’m never surprised by the support of the community,” she said. “We’ve talked about overcoming hurdles over and over again, and I think that’s just going to be our thing, I think.”
Consistent fundraising will continue to be critical to make the charter school financially sustainable.
With the last of the pledges from previous years being paid out this year, the academy’s top focuses will be on boosting enrollment and organizing more ways to fundraise throughout the year.
“Those are the two things that will keep us here,” Fredrickson said.
More fundraising will be critical as the academy, which has 31 students, hopes to expand to 50 next year. It will be the first year the school will offer kindergarten through fifth grade.
The school opened in 2017.
“We are so grateful that (the community) sees this as an investment in the community and in the kids’ future,” Fredrickson said.