Prayers answered: Champion Christian school survives

PARADISE, Calif. - Champion Christian, a faith-based private school in Paradise which has seen diminishing enrollment for several years, will return for the 2014-15 school year.  But the following year, the school will leave its Paradise location at Calvary Baptist Church and return to Chico where the school originated.

"You have so many more people to draw from [in Chico]," said Richard Hoyt, the school board's new president.  "You've got a 125,000 from the greater area plus people from Oroville and Orland."

"It's just a more centralized location than Paradise," he said.    

The school, which opened in 1992, once had a student body of more than 150 students.  Hoyt said the poor economy in 2008 forced parents to remove their children from the tuition-supported school.  Enrollment declined to the point that there was talk of disbanding the school.  Instead, Champion moved to Paradise rent-free. But enrollment fell into the teens.  

Starting this year, tuition will be cut nearly in half from $6,800 to $3,600.  Further, upon the return to Chico, Champion will become exclusively a 9-12 grade high school. Currently the school is grads 7-12. 

Hoyt said that since the announcement that the school would return to Chico with lower tuition fees, the school office has received increased interest from parents.

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