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Public attendance lacking at Einstein Charter's budget hearing

There was no public comment at Einstein Charter Inc.’s public budget hearing Tuesday.

Two members of the board of directors were present, along with the school’s principal Shawn Toranto and business manager Doug Guidry.  Board members and staff sat from 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. to take public comment on the school’s preliminary budget, but no members of the public were present.

The preliminary budget shows little change over last years budget of $4.4 million.  The school expects to receive $3.5 million in state funding.

The budget was projected for an enrollment of 443 students, the enrollment as of Feb. 1, as directed by Orleans Parish School Board.  At the board meeting held after the hearing, Toranto said the school has enrolled 560 students, with another 100 on a wait list.

The discrepancy of 117 students between the number enrolled near the end of the last school year and the number expected in the fall will undoubtedly change budget projections, according to Guidry. Staff members noted that the actual enrollment will not be known until classes begin in the fall.

Each student is estimated to bring in $8,082 in Minimum Foundation Program funding, a state program.  MFP funding is partially made up of a state contribution.  The other part comes from sales tax and ad valorem tax.  Guidry noted the MFP funding per student is only an estimate at this point in time.

Guidry expects minor adjustments to be made before the July 10 board meeting, when the board will vote to approve the budget.

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