Despite bankruptcy filing, CCA will continue operations

Published 12:04 am Friday, June 12, 2009

Every day, children come from all over for a little play at Central Christian Academy.

For 13 years, CHASM has helped keep children off the streets or from becoming latch-key children. The Rev. Carl V. Rawls said this program will continue through the summer, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., five days a week.

And, promised Rawls, the school will continue this fall, despite money troubles that saw West Alabama Education Inc., which does business as CCA, file for voluntary reorganizational bankruptcy last month.

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Documents filed in the Middle Alabama Bankruptcy Court in Montgomery show the school has estimated it has less than 50 creditors. The school has assets of $645,424.95 and debts of $698,223.94, according to the filings.

Rawls maintained the bankruptcy filing is a matter of restructuring for the school’s debt and does not affect the day-to-day operations.

“We have begun the hard work of transforming our school and promoting accountability — and have made some promise,” he said. Rawls is president of the school board.

The reorganization process will allow the school to operate, pay employees and their benefits and work with creditors, he said.

Central Christian Headmaster Darrell Walker said the upcoming school year looks promising. The school has undergone minor repairs. Classrooms have fresh coats of paint.

“We’re hiring new elementary teachers and expanding our high school curriculum to offer more subjects, such as physics, by hiring new certified teachers; and students will be able to take advantage of a resource room complete with computers and high-speed Internet access made possible by a local organization donating Dell computers and wireless routers,” Walker said.

The school wants to bring football back after canceling the season for the last two years.

But the case hasn’t sailed through the court system yet. A hearing is set for court in Montgomery on June 16 at 10 a.m. The judge will hear a motion to transfer the case to the Southern District in Mobile.

In filings, the attorney for CCA posited the school drew most of its student population from the Montgomery area and that the court had jurisdiction.

However, an attorney from the Internal Revenue Service filed documents pointing out the property listed by the school is in Selma and the school’s address is in Selma, which would give the Southern District venue. The Internal Revenue Service is a priority creditor of the school.