Potential rent hike could close Phoenix school

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- ASU Prep is facing some budgeting issues, as a new school year is about to start.

Apparently, the Phoenix Elementary School District owns the private school's building, and wants to raise the rent by a whopping 900%, from $300,000 $2.7 million annually. Right now, the district and school are in their 60-day negotiation period, so those numbers are not set in stone.

On Wednesday night, the school met with parents to keep in them in the loop. As for why the school district is raising the rent, ASU Prep's CEO, Beatriz Rendon, says she was told that the $2.7 million figure is the commercial rate. However, operating as a nonprofit, she says it's impossible to afford that rate.

adds that this is one of the highest performing schools in the district, with a 100% graduation rate. Both she and the parents say they hope they can all come to a resolution, for the sake of the children.

"I am pretty sad or overwhelmed, but mainly we're scared," said parent Bridget Eagy. "We're a family here. We've got attached to each other and we don't want to have to separate our kids. Education that we're getting here is second to none.

"I optimally would've liked to come to an agreement before they cancel the existing contract, which takes us through June 30, 2019. That being as it may, I am still optimistic that we can negotiate in good faith on reasonable terms," said Rendon.

In response, the school district says they welcome public comment on this issue as the negotiations continue. Again, the contract with the district ends in June 2019, so the kids are okay for this school year.