‘LeBron’s school’ isn’t really LeBron’s and it isn’t really free; taxpayers footing most of bill as he takes a bow

NBA player LeBron James was celebrated in the liberal media for launching his new I Promise school in Akron, Ohio, and rightfully so.

Despite his politics and his opposition to President Donald Trump — James not only endorsed Hillary Clinton, but actively stumped for her — for a professional athlete to make this kind of investment in the community is certainly praiseworthy.

Even if taxpayers will foot much of the bill for “LeBron’s school” — for the record, his estimated net worth is $440 million and that was before he signed a four-year, $153.3 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers this year.

The school, a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron Public Schools system, is for at-risk 3rd and 4th graders, with plans to expand from first to eighth grade by 2022.

I Promise students will receive:

  • Free tuition
  • Free uniforms
  • Free breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Free transportation within 2 miles
  • A free bicycle and helmet
  • Access to a food pantry for their family
  • Guaranteed tuition for all graduates to the University of Akron

James’ foundation will pick up “about $2 million for the school’s first year, including startup costs,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

But the school is in a Akron Public Schools building and will be run by the district, according to the newspaper.

“The district will hire and pay the teachers and administration,” the Plain Dealer reported.

“Kids will ride district buses to school. And they will all eat the free breakfast and lunch the district gives all students.”

The eventual cost for the I Promise school is expected to be about $8 million a year, with the district assuming the additional cost out of its regular budget — the funding coming “mostly by shifting students, teachers and money from other schools.”

District spokesman Mark Williamson remarked on the media oversight in covering the story to note that taxpayers are also invested.

“The coverage made it look like the whole thing is his,” Williamson said. “He did a lot, but taxpayers should know it’s their investment too.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the financial clarity from Twitter:


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