Since coming under the new leadership of Rev. Dr. Michael Dixon in the Fall of 2008, Parkside’s average overall school growth in the past 2 years has been about 9.5% per year. Despite the increase in enrollment, several factors have played into the school’s continued mode of survival:
· More families have applied for and needed financial assistance, especially returning families due to the economic downturn.
· Prior to the new leadership, Parkside expended future revenues for past expenses.
Currently, 82% of Parkside’s revenue is budgeted to be from tuition income. Prior to 2008, Parkside had little income from private donations. To continue to allow Parkside to be accessible to families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, Parkside has to cultivate more sources of funding from individuals, churches, corporations and local and national foundations that fund faith-based educational programs.
5 YEAR GOAL: $2.5 Million
· In Dec. 2009, Parkside raised a little over $25,000 in 3 weeks to cover a funding gap caused by the loss of a major funder due to the economic downturn. These efforts added 57 new donors to Parkside’s base of support.
· Prior to Parkside’s new leadership, future revenue had been used to pay for past expenses, thus starting off each academic year with a deficit. This deficit amounted to approximately $150,000 at the start of the Fall of 2008. To enter the new era of financial health, Parkside must eliminate this deficit.
· In addition, Parkside cannot continue to maintain its quality of education and grow unless we can also address some of the following needs:
a. Low teacher salaries: Teachers are working at very low salary levels in Boston- which has a very high cost of living. Our avg. salary was $27,000 in 2009, while the average cost to rent a 2-3 bedroom is ~$18,000 annually. This makes for a very low standard of living.
b. Inadequate Financial Aid Budget: Currently 85% of our families are on some form of financial assistance. Parkside has intentionally kept its tuition rate ($7500) lower than most private schools in the city to provide greater access to urban families.
c. Basic Operating Needs: From an outdated computer lab to a non-ventilated science lab, Parkside is in need of general upgrades to help support the quality of education offered. Some of these needs include funds for accreditation ($10,000), updated computers ($7,500), and new books for the accelerated curriculum ($12,000).