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Media Statement Following Jackson County Board of Commissioners Meeting - October 18, 2023

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

In North Carolina, public charter schools have historically received zero funding for capital expenses and have therefore been required to fund their school facility needs through sources outside of the state and county governments.

On August 16, 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 219 into law, enacting Session Law 2023-107. The new law allows counties to provide funds for charter school capital needs through either direct appropriations or as a loan.

As a result, public charter schools, including Summit Charter School, now have the opportunity to request funding from counties for facility needs. Summit is a North Carolina tuition-free and non-profit public charter school, first authorized by the State Board of Education in 1997.

In August 2023, we formally broke ground on the construction of a new high school building on our campus due to record enrollment. Since 2019, Summit has experienced 28% growth in enrollment and as a result, the school has reached its current facility capacity. The construction of a new high school building will expand our facility capacity to support current and future enrollment growth, as well as support the growing population of Jackson County. After a formal Request for Proposal process, Summit hired JDavis Construction of Anderson, South Carolina as general contractor for the construction project. The budget for Summit’s expansion need is $6.5 million.

Summit is committed to funding the full cost of the new construction through private donations and foundation and corporate grants. For this purpose, in August 2023, we publicly launched a capital campaign, and to-date have raised $4.8 million toward a $6.5 million campaign goal. Our goal is to have commitments totaling $6.5 million by August 2024. Of the $4.8 million raised to-date, we have received $2.8 million in-hand, and the remaining $2 million in pledges. Fundraising efforts for the expansion are led by the Summit Charter School Foundation, a 501(c)3 that raises private funding to support Summit Charter School.

To support the cash flow needs during construction as Summit raises the total funds needed for the expansion, Summit Charter School and The Summit Charter School Foundation formally requested a bridge loan of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in the amount of $2,500,000.00 to provide short-term funding for the construction of a new high school building on Summit’s campus. The purpose of the loan is to bridge cash flow needs during construction as we raise and collect our total fundraising goal of $6.5 million.

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