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Sci Academy board's budget anticipates adding new schools, students

The budget for the Collegiate Academies of New Orleans, the board that operates Sci Academy, remains flat for the upcoming school year compared to 2011-2012, coming in at around $3.6 million. The budget for the 2012-2013 school year includes projections for two new schools opening on the Carver campus and anticipates a 60-student increase in enrollment.

Board Treasurer Doug Finegan presented the Collegiate Academies budget in five parts covering Sci Academy, two new schools, and the central charter management office as well as a consolidated budget. Finegan noted that all budgets are based on an estimated enrollment number, the key to determining how much funding the state will reimburse later in the year.

For the 2012-2013 school year, Collegiate Academies is expecting a full enrollment of 400 students at Sci Academy and 120 students in each of the new schools, which will each start out with freshman classes only. The Recovery School District’s OneApp enrollment process has estimated Collegiate Academies will enroll an additional 60 students next year.

In expectation of adding staff, the finance committee has increased the budget for salaries and benefits. For the 2012-2013 school year, Collegiate Academies expects to see a 6.9 percent increase in salary expenses and an 11.7 percent increase in the cost of benefits. In addition to the cost of providing benefits to new teachers, the finance committee has included a five percent increase in the cost of healthcare, mirroring a national trend. An increase of state funding on a per-student basis will help to offset some of the new expenses.

Additionally, the committee has decided to make some “extras” such as field trips and college site visits reliant on fundraising income. The board is currently raising funds in an effort to ensure these programs will still be offered next year.

Busing was another major expense listed on next year’s budget. With more students, bus drivers will be able to consolidate their routes, potentially dropping the per-student cost from $1,200 to $1,000. The board budgeted a total of $567,000 for student transportation for 2011-2012. The consolidated budget lists total anticipated income at $7,781,042, including revenue from local, state, and federal sources. Total expected expenditures equal $7,302,043.

Following this year’s trend, the board hopes to end next school year with a 6 percent surplus. The Collegiate Academies board will review the budget over the next few weeks and will vote to amend or approve it at the next meeting, slated to be held June 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the school, 5552 Read Blvd.

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