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Private School to Close Due to Lack of Funding

By Ben Rainwater
By brainwater@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Students happily played at Hines Memorial School, Friday afternoon. But with the announcement that the school is closing, many parents are upset.

"The school has been open for years, a long time, such a long time," said Theria Harris. "And then now they're closing and it's real heartbreaking."

Parents were told last Friday that the school will close when the spring term ends.

"I really don't know what we're going to do," said Rochelle Harris. "Everybody's asking me where she's going to go. I have to pray. I don't know."

When students walk out the doors for the final time on May 17, it will be because administrators believe closing the school is the decision that had to be made.

"In running a Christian school, we are not financed by federal money," said Sheila Jones. "So to run a (grades K-8) classroom like we have, it would take more than tuition to pay for the expenses of the school. So the church has to subsidize a great portion."

Jones said in the past, there has been enough money to stay afloat because of a sizable donation left to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which runs the school. But now, the money is nearly gone.

"Our parent body here a very content with the school, the students do an excellent job here, and our academic scores are high," said Jones. "We hate to close a school that's having such a good impact on families, but for financial reasons we can't keep going."

Jones and other administrators stressed that they hope the school is not closing forever. They aim to reopen the school at some point in the future, but it will not be next year.
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