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Indy Christian School System needs donations to help keep doors open

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 21:30:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Christian School System needs the community’s help keeping its doors open.

The school system launched the Lend a Hand campaign to help keep them open after the school realized it was $850,000 in the red.

Handprints painted on the Indianapolis Christian School System walls represent a donation of at least $529 to keep students in the classrooms.

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“Every handprint represents a life that will be able to stay in school here. Without those handprints, we are at risk,” Indy West Christian School Principal Jason Van Curen said. “"Everybody was at risk. The school system was at risk of not being here anymore and we've been around for 45 years.”

Van Curen says nearly 600 students attend the schools.

Most students are on Indiana's Choice scholarship which means the state pays a portion of tuition through taxes.

The problem he said is, the schools are only paid three times a year.

"The Choice program is an amazing benefit for many families in our school and throughout the state, but the increase in eligibility numbers for this school year and the cycle of payments coming only three times a year has made cash flow more complicated when you are trying to recover from an existing deficit," the school said.

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Van Curen hopes the state legislature would change that.

“It’s a challenge for smaller private schools to find that gap when so much of the money is from the vouchers,” Van Curen said.

He says Indy Christian School System had unexpected expenses moving into new buildings.

"As we discovered this in the midst of the year, we realized we had a $850,000 gap we needed to be filled. Part of that $850,000 not only covers paychecks for staff but debts we've occurred," Van Curen said.

Since, the campaign launched two months ago, parents, alumni, and others have donated around $650,000.

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Van Curen says while that's a blessing they're appreciative of, the school system still isn't in a healthy financial position.

"We've been so impressed and thankful for the families, as well as extended families, that have helped contribute to us," Van Curen said. "If the legacy of Indianapolis Christian School System has touched your life or the life of someone you love, or if you just have a heart for Christian Education, we need to hear your stories and need your help."

For more information on the campaign, click here.