What began as a chance to keep public education in rural Cave Spring, Georgia has now become a plea for help. When the local board of education closed their elementary school in May 2022, citizens of this small rural town rallied to open the Cave Learning Center (CSLC) to keep public education in their community. With quality instruction provided by Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) and support staff in place, the CSLC opened on August 1, serving almost 65 students.
However, due to a delay in private funding, the CSLC has an immediate need to cover September expenses and remain open – at least until December. According to CSLC Director, Gola Burton, “We’d like for students to be able to finish the semester at CSLC. This would allow time for the students to make a smooth transition to other schools or for parents to make arrangements for them to continue with GCA.”
According to one parent, Jonathan Urquhart, “This is not just about the learning center. This is about the future of our community. Keeping a school will keep and attract families with children. Our long-term goal is to open a state-funded, public charter school in fall 2024.
Another parent, Jessica Jones, added: “The CSLC is a great, temporary option that keeps our students enrolled in public education in their community and will increase our chance of receiving state funding for a charter school.”
The CSLC has launched a fundraising campaign and needs only 400 gifts of $125.00 by this Friday, September 30. Tax-deductible donations can be made at First National Community Bank on Broad Street (checks made payable to the Cave Spring Community Coalition) or online at the following link:
“We just hope there are 400 people who care enough about Cave Spring to give $125 by this Friday, September 30, said Judy Taylor, President of the CSCC. “Pledges of $125/month from 400 people for October through December would allow the students to complete their semester at CSLC.” Taylor added that they are also considering budget cuts, a tuition fee and a scholarship campaign to support students whose families can’t afford tuition.