Just last year, NBA superstar Lebron James announced his “I Promise” school for underprivileged kids in the Akron area. James promised that every kid who attends the school will be given:
- FREE tuiton
- Free uniforms
- Free bicycle and helmet
- Free transportation
- Free breakfast lunch and snacks
- Food pantry for families
- GEDs and job placement for parents
- Guaranteed tuition to the university of Akron
Sounds great doesnt it? Many said this was Lebrons best achievement in life yet. What a philanthropic hero right?…WRONG.
Tax payers in Akron are just now finding out the truth about who is really going to pay for the “I Promise” school. Lebron James paid just 2 million dollars for the school to open while the district flipped an 8 million dollar bill.
The average tax payer forks over around 11K a head for children to attend public schools. At Lebron’s “I promise” school, each student cost between $33-36,000 of tax payer money.
I Promise is a district school. It’s not a private school or even a charter school, a form of public schools that are funded with tax dollars but are privately-run.
Its a district-owned building. The district will hire and pay the teachers and administration. Kids will ride district buses to school. And they will all eat the free breakfast and lunch the district gives all students.
I Promise will eventually cost about $8 million a year to run out of the district’s regular budget, covered mostly by shifting students, teachers and money from other schools, the district says.
“The coverage made it look like the whole thing is his,” said district spokesman Mark Williamson. “He did a lot, but taxpayers should know it’s their investment too.” The university, not the foundation, is guaranteeing those scholarships.
The media narrative that Lebron is covering the cost of this school is nonsense. Putting his name on the school and donating a small amount of money(the district paid for 75%, according to Cleveland.com) was great publicity for him and a no brainer if you were him.
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