Education

Raleigh's Upper Room school downsizing to K-5

Posted October 9, 2012

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— The Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh is downsizing due to financial hardship, leaving middle and high school students less than a month to enroll elsewhere.

Starting Nov. 1, the school, which currently has nearly 250 students in preschool through 12th grade, will only offer classes for students in kindergarten through fifth grades.

About a dozen teachers might lose their jobs and more than three dozen students will have to transfer, according to school leaders.

Upper Room's executive director, John Amanchukwu, said school leaders were faced with no other choice. With an operating budget of about $2.2 million, the school saw funding taper off in recent years, putting them between $500,000 and $700,000 in the red this year.

Funding shortfall forces Upper Room Christian Academy to downsize Funding shortfall forces Raleigh school to downsize

"We haven't been able to raise adequate funding," Amanchukwu said. "We all know in order for me to order a burger from McDonald's, I must have money."

Falicia Gibson said she loved the education Upper Room provided for her daughter, but now she is forced to consider other school options.

"When your child has been in a school since she was 3 years old, and then all of a sudden, they have to make a transition, that's difficult," Gibson said.

Student Jasmine Lester will have to finish her sophomore year and beyond at another school.

"I'm a little upset I'm not going to be here anymore," Lester said. "Upper Room has been a huge part of my life."

70 Comments

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  • goldng8 Oct 10, 4:57 p.m.

    "You may fail to understand, but I assure you that Pastor Wooden understands the connection very well."

    You base this assurance on what? Based on the tax records, he had his house before there was a school. He will still have his house. I still don't see the connection.

    "so now church is a business? so then let the church pay taxes!! Pastor is not a CEO"

    He is the CEO. The 'c' in 501c3 is for corporation; corporations have CEO's. They also pay taxes, they are exempt from income taxes but they are certainly taxed. For-profit CEO's live in expensive houses and certainly don't give a dime from their personal budgets to help their companies, and if all else fails they get bailed out at the tax payer's expense. When they downsize there's no problem. A church school downsizes after 14 years of business and there is a problem. That's hogwash! I can't think of one long lasting company that hasn't downsized. It's an unfortunate reality of doing business, yes..business. Once again, send YOUR

  • NiceNSmooth Oct 10, 4:44 p.m.

    Every church I know sets the salary of its pastor and has a deacon board and bookkeepers to make decisions. The school sets tuition but do you think every parent is one time with their payments!!

    Then shame on Decons for allowing the pastor enough to have a 1.9 mill home and not using that money for the school, ministries, homeless, food programs, etc.

  • NiceNSmooth Oct 10, 4:42 p.m.

    Then 36 children get a quality education for a year and a dozen qualified teachers keep their job for a year .... But I guess that's not GOOD BUSINESS ---That's good business? Tell me one business owner who does that. And after the 36 children get their education for a year, then what? They have to eliminate programs because the students can't afford them and we're back where we started.

    I guess you missed my point... church is not supposed to be a business (if so then pay taxes) but rather a support to the community and its congregation.... not a support to the $1.9 million home for pastor

  • NiceNSmooth Oct 10, 4:39 p.m.

    ChicoDusty since you're so concerned, why don't you sell your house, send them a donation..if not spare us your false humilty and concern for those "poor" parents, students and teachers.

    lol...Why would you expect me too? The church pastor is paid with church collected funds and if the church can afford him a 1.9 million home then I would assume the church is not experiencing financial issues so then why should the teachers/students suffer?

  • clinton28328 Oct 10, 4:32 p.m.

    Every church I know sets the salary of its pastor and has a deacon board and bookkeepers to make decisions. The school sets tuition but do you think every parent is one time with their payments!!

  • goldng8 Oct 10, 4:22 p.m.

    Then 36 children get a quality education for a year and a dozen qualified teachers keep their job for a year .... But I guess that's not GOOD BUSINESS
    ---That's good business? Tell me one business owner who does that. And after the 36 children get their education for a year, then what? They have to eliminate programs because the students can't afford them and we're back where we started.

    Also- 2.2 million/250 students = 8,800 in tuition a year So why the shortfall?
    WRONG SCHOOL- URCA does not charge $8800 in tuition. They only charge $5000 per year, and the apparent problem is that many of them couldn't afford that. ChicoDusty since you're so concerned, why don't you sell your house, send them a donation..if not spare us your false humilty and concern for those "poor" parents, students and teachers.

  • monami Oct 10, 4:20 p.m.

    " I fail to understand the connection between the cost of his house and financial position of URCA..."

    You may fail to understand, but I assure you that Pastor Wooden understands the connection very well.

  • Barfly Oct 10, 4:01 p.m.

    The basketball program has produced some talented players. Where are they now?

  • TeenDad4_WorldTour Oct 10, 3:53 p.m.

    An NC State booster pulled his money as soon as Purvis was found to be eligible, simple as that. The "High School" was just a temporary means to an end.

  • NiceNSmooth Oct 10, 3:19 p.m.

    Let's say he sells his house, with a $2mil budget that would carry the school over for one year. Then what?

    Then 36 children get a quality education for a year and a dozen qualified teachers keep their job for a year .... But I guess that's not GOOD BUSINESS

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