One of the most significant issues that charters schools have faced is the
budgetary challenges as a result of significant hold back funds from the
state. As part of our reality, the pressure was on CRCS to grow and all the while maintaining conservative spending guidelines. This was very
challenging because as we grew in students, we needed to continue to support our program with specialist and highly qualified educators.
We are proud to say that since 2009 CRCS has become financially stable organization and we have grown in students from 115 in 2009 to 150 in 2012. We have also increased our staff from 15 total staff to 31 teachers, specialist, support staff, and contracted services.
Another significant piece of our recent success
has been a 2 million dollar renovation to CRCs. We went from some 10,000 square feet in 2009
to over 17,000 square feet in 2011. All of our systems were upgraded, Including the heating, cooling, duct work, paint, window, doors, technology
and network, and he school is in immaculate condition and
our staff, students, and community have a luxurious place to call our
The proposal for a charter school in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood grew from the recent history of neighborhood development. A large scale housing development project in much of the neighborhood brought a large population of families with young children to the neighborhood, beginning in 1986. As many of the units in this development were scheduled for Section Eight Housing, the number of children remained large in the immediate future. Approximately half the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood resides in the Riverside Plaza Housing Project and the large number of Section Eight units guaranteed a continued population of children.
The dramatic increase in housing for families with
children was followed by community activity to provide services for the
children. In 1989, the West Bank Community Development Corporation (CDC)
developed a network of day-care houses, using community resources in
housing opportunities to respond to the needs of the families. Local
service agencies, the Currie Center and the People's Center, had also
increased their programming for children.
Parents and school teachers in the community began discussing the need for a local school in the winter of 1991. In May of 1991, the West Bank CDC, continued its history of supporting family services, agreed to act as the fiscal agent for the proposed school. With CDC backing, a series of community meetings had been held to access the needs of neighborhood families in regards to a school, and had to plan a proposal.