Taxpayers To Pay Bulk Of Costs For LeBron James’ Highly Touted School

Basketball superstar and philanthropist LeBron James might not be paying for as much of his pet project school as many originally thought.

There has been national media coverage about James’ involvement in the new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio and many assumed that he would be footing the whole bill. However, according to, that’s just not the case.

“The exact breakdown of expenses for the new I Promise School is unclear since the district and the LeBron James Family Foundation are still sorting out final details of their contract. But the district will pay more than half the costs – perhaps around 75 percent – once it is fully running.”

The foundation will be paying for many expenses, along with some extras that aren’t standard issue. For example, James’ foundation has promised to buy bicycles for all students enrolled in I Promise, which only extends to the eighth grade.

According to reports from the Foundation itself, they will be spending around $2 million during the first full school year, helping with startup costs and regular operational costs. They have also promised to spend at least another $2 million each ear when the school has reached its capacity. That sum, however, is just about one-quarter of what the school will take to run.

“It’s a district-owned building. The district will hire and pay the teachers and administration. Kids will ride district buses to school. And they will all eat the free breakfast and lunch the district gives all students.

I Promise will eventually cost about $8 million a year to run out of the district’s regular budget, covered mostly by shifting students, teachers and money from other schools, the district says.”

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