Hip Hop Charter School Blew Its Book Money on De La Soul EndorsementS

In Portland, Oregon, one parent's bright idea and several years of planning and government grants had made the REAL Prep Charter Academy—a high school with a recording and arts program based in hip hop culture—a near reality. Do not insert easy joke here! The idea seems good. The execution was... embarrassing.

The Oregonian reports that the school might not open on schedule Monday because it's only signed up 48 students, rather than the 160 they'd projected. Also the school building isn't finished. Or furnished. They spent all the money on... other stuff.

From March 2010 to this July, for instance, Jayasuriya got $68,000 for her work trying to get the school off the ground. And Troy McNair, the Florida-based brand manager for the Grammy-winning hip-hop trio De La Soul, was paid $79,000 to design curriculum units to help students create a record label and to sign on artists including De La Soul's Maseo to endorse and advise the school.

That left school organizers without money to buy desks, textbooks, computers or more than a smattering of recording equipment. They were hoping a hip-hop label or philanthropist would make a hefty donation, school leaders say, but none came through. They hoped to get donations of used desks or chairs but didn't.

CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL PLAN

1. Pay the founder's salary (duh lol).
2. Pay De La Soul's manager.
3. Get other stuff for free.
4. Summer!

It always looks smart on paper.

[The Oregonian via Pat's Papers]