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Pay What You Can Culture


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We honor the unfair economic history of our country


A deeper dive into what we mean



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Amended from

Ride Fear Less Money

NARRATIVE: giving both ends of the scale a place to be, (from Little Red Bird Botanicals)

Consider paying less on the scale if you:​

  • have significant debt

  • do not have regular access to healthcare 

  • receive public assistance

  • are unsure about the stability of your income for 6+ months

  • have immigration-related expenses

  • are an unpaid community organizer

  • are a returning citizen who has been denied work due to incarceration history

  • care for additional family members in need

Consider paying more on the scale if you:

  • own the home you live in

  • have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money

  • travel recreationally

  • pay for services such as a nanny or housekeeper

  • have access to family money and resources in times of need

  • work part time by choice

  • have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.) Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, I ask you to recognize this as a choice.

The scale is intended to be a map, inviting each of us to take inventory of our financial resources and look deeper at our levels of privilege. It is a way to challenge the classist and capitalist society we live in and work towards economic justice on a local level. While we ask you to take these factors into consideration, please don’t stress about it. Pay what feels right.


Donut Economics

First published in 2012 in an Oxfam report by Kate Raworth, the concept of the Doughnut rapidly gained traction internationally


Think of it as a compass for human prosperity in the 21st century, with the aim of meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet.

The Doughnut consists of two concentric rings: a social foundation, to ensure that no one is left falling short on life’s essentials, and an ecological ceiling, to ensure that humanity does not collectively overshoot the planetary boundaries that protect Earth's life-supporting systems. Between these two sets of boundaries lies a doughnut-shaped space that is both ecologically safe and socially just: a space in which humanity can thrive.





Transparency & Vulnerability are Cooperative Efforts

Voluntary and Open Membership

Democratic Member Control

Member Economic Participation

Cooperative Member Salary Goals

Current (Operational Year '23-'24)

Salary Floor Goals  (3-5 year)

Director/Owner (Founding Member)


Teacher/Owner (Confirmed Member)


Teacher (Interim Member)


Director/Owner (Founding Member)


Teacher/Owner (Confirmed Member)


Teacher (Interim Member)


Our goal is an integrated school model


Full Tuition


Adjusted Tuition


Tuition Free

Pay What You Can Culture


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Learn More

We model our understanding on the work of many others, here is some further reading we are sharing in our community to reflect on right now.

We  :

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