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KIPP budget passes audit with flying colors; more spent on instruction than at most schools

The KIPP New Orleans School Board’s finance committee met Dec. 15 in an office on Prytania St. to review a public accounting firm’s independent audit of the charter management group’s financial statements. The audit found that the board’s “controls are strong, with no major inefficiencies.”

Four members of the finance committee attended the meeting, as well as two certified public accountants, Christian Smith and Peter Montano from MacDonald Page & Co., a firm based in South Portland, Me.

The report showed that KIPP’s per pupil revenue increased 45 percent in the past year, but Cifford Favrot, a member of the board’s finance committee, cautioned that the healthy balance sheet should not be allowed to inspire complacency. “This money is planned for growth, and many funders won’t give because of our strong balance,” he warned.

According to the report, KIPP spends 90 percent of its revenues on the direct support of programming, rather than administrative costs; most schools allocate only 75 percent of their budget for student programs.

The only area of improvement the report recommended was improved maintenance of PEP files, the state personnel forms. The board said they have already hired a new data team to deal with that issue.

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