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Monday, April 2, 2018

COLD SPRING, NO HARBOR: Grand Traverse Academy Student Count Collapse Continues; Down 13 Percent From Spring 2014 High

"This school was his baby!"
Rocked by declining enrollment (skidding from a peak of 1,215 students in Spring 2014 to 1,055 per Michigan's Student Data System official Spring 2018 reporting), the Grand Traverse Academy continues its struggle to establish a solid financial foundation—a foundation built on a crumbling student base.

Compared with TCAPS, which has held its own between 2014-2018, even managing an increase from 9,720 students in Spring 2016 to 9,801 in the most recent count, Spring 2018, the scandal-ridden Traverse City charter school's enrollment has dropped from a 1,215 peak in Spring 2014 down to 1,055 in Spring 2018's count.

But that figure was projected in 2016 by former manager Mark Noss to be 1,425. Although contemporanenous reporting in 2016 about school enrollment trends stated that “preliminary figures signal an enrollment decline across northwest Michigan”, Mark Noss, head of Full Spectrum, the Grand Traverse Academy's former management company, boldly projected the charter school's enrollment would grow from 1,174 in 2015-16 to 1,550 by 2018-19, a staggering 32% increase. 

So, was that a budget trick or just wishful thinking to gain approval for Full Spectrum's science and math expansion? 

We know where that went, and, if I weren't so polite, I'd say it was fucking nuts! 

But I am, so I won't.

Last September, the Grand Traverse Academy board refinanced $2.3 million in short-term debt it owed to Traverse City State Bank with an agreement that included a stunning provision that required the interception of nearly $895,000 of school aid funds away from the Grand Traverse Academy during the current year and transmitted directly to bondholders for debt-service payments — funding that cannot be redirected to any other budget line item.

Facing a whopping $1,521,277.65 balloon payment in August, which would likely create the second refinancing of a $2.3 million State Aid Note Loan acquired in September 2016 from Traverse City State Bank, the Grand Traverse Academy appears to be inching closer to another budget deficit.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Miss Fortune I just don't see how they can properly educate children with the little money they get from the state must be pretty sad Ingersoll oil is probably steady watching.... there are no laws over charter schools watch Ingersoll be right back at it