West Concord Charter School Facing Budget Shortfall

Created: 02/04/2014 5:48 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- After five years of raising money, planning, and building; the West Concord Public Charter School is now halfway through its first year. But while things are up and running, they haven't exactly been easy.

Enrollment numbers at the school were quite a bit less than the administrators had originally hoped for for their first year. So in order to balance the budget, they had to make some big changes which included cutting the pay of a couple of their staff members.

"I was really excited," said Mary Kinniburgh. Her twin daughters go to kindergarten at WCPCS.

"I couldn't be happier . They have learned to love school and that what I want from kindergarten because they're excited for, they're already talking about first grade, and second grade, and all the teachers here. It's a wonderful school," added Kinniburgh.

While things seem to be going great on the education side, its a different story when it comes to the budget.

"Seeing that there was going to be low-enrollment numbers, meeting our funding was going to be much less than we had anticipated. We had to make some tough choices. So of course, our largest draw for our finances is our staff. So we really had to make tough decisions and look at our staff very closely," said Board President Jeff McCool.

In other words, they had to cut the pay of two staff members, including the school's director, Nicole Musolf.

"When my name showed up on the 'you aren't going to be receiving a paycheck' um, it's a little bit of a shell shock. But after that, I realized that I'm here for a reason and I believe I'm here for a reason and so we're going to see it through and so far we have,"

Nicole decided to stay on with the school, volunteering her time, which is giving school officials hope.

"We're not going anywhere. We're just seeing this rough patch through, get us over this hump of this year, and I think we'll do great."

Despite their struggles, school officials say the future does look promising. They've already done some fundraising and they've raised $55,000. Also, enrollment for the next year has already opened up and in the very first day, three new students signed on and with about $6,000 per student in funding from the state, it seems to be a step in the right direction.