ASU Prep, PESD reach lease agreement

After a six-month lease negotiation, the Phoenix Elementary School District and ASU Preparatory Academy reached a final decision.

The new lease term is from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. ASU Preparatory Academy (ASU Prep) will pay the Phoenix Elementary School District (PESD) $550,000 each year of the lease.

ASU Prep will also provide a minimum of $75,000 each year in in-kind services.

Examples of the in-kind services ASU Prep will provide include helping to strengthen PESD’s signature schools, professional development and leadership training and accelerated math for PESD middle school students.

“We applaud Phoenix Elementary School District board members for extending the lease of one of the top public schools in downtown Phoenix, providing students and teachers certainty in their school of choice,” Emily Anne Gullickson, A for Arizona executive director, said. “ASU Prep has a perfect 100 percent graduation rate and strong college-going culture and has increased student achievement in the downtown Phoenix community. This two-year lease provides a temporary reprieve for ASU Prep’s 1,200 students, most of whom are low-income and would struggle to travel to a new location.”

In a July governing board meeting, PESD terminated ASU Prep’s lease and proposed to raise it to $2.7 million a year- an 800 percent increase from its prior lease.

In September, ASU Prep countered with an offer to raise its rent from $300,000 to $550,000 annually for the term of the lease.

After more negotiation, ASU Prep and PESD reached their final decision and the school can continue to successfully serve students in the same space.

ASU Prep is a high-performing K12 charter school that leads students, including those from low-income households, on the path to success.

In 2017, more than 40 percent of ASU Prep students were on free and reduced lunch. That same year, 100 percent of the graduating class was accepted to a two-year or four-year postsecondary institution.

The decision to extend the lease for ASU Prep will allow the school to continue to open doors for its students and lead them to a postsecondary education.  

Sierra Ciaramella

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