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Jackson Preparatory and Early College charter school receives $500,000 start-up grant
mLive.com
By: Leanne Smith
October 22, 2013
The Jackson Preparatory and Early College charter school has received up to $500,000 in federal school start-up funds.

The first $100,000 of the grant, which is allocated by the Michigan Department of Education, must be used in the planning process for the proposed charter school for sixth- through 13th-grades, said Michael Masters, JPEC president.

If the grant’s planning requirements are met, the school will receive a $200,000 implementation grant and another $200,000 implementation grant in a subsequent year, Masters said.

“This is big news for us,” Masters said. “It will help us in development and establishment of board policies and curriculum.”

This grant money cannot be used for recurring expenses, such as salaries for employees who return from year to year, Masters said.

JPEC has a targeted opening date of September 2014. However, its board of governors still is searching for funding for a new building for sixth- through eighth-graders that would be built on the Jackson College campus.

A special board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 16 to consider a funding proposal from Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. was canceled, Masters said, so other financing options could be researched.

"We want to make sure we are doing our due diligence in vetting other opportunities if they do exist," Masters said.

The Piper Jaffray proposal discussed by the board at a special meeting on Oct. 9, involves private bonds that would be repaid with up to 20 percent of the approximately $7,000 in state aid JPEC would receive for each of its students.

This would be on top of another 3 percent, which would be paid to Jackson College as an administrative fee. JC trustees voted in January to authorize the charter school.

JPEC’s board also continues to pursue a $5 million low-interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program for construction of its building.

Financing options are expected to be discussed at the board’s next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 on the second floor of Jackson College’s Potter Center, 2111 Emmons Road. The meeting is open to the public.

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