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International School of Louisiana predicts razor-thin budget margin reliant on exact enrollment numbers and greater fundraising

The International School of Louisiana’s board of trustees met Wednesday night, June 27, to approve the budget for the 2012-2013 school year and to discuss enrollment.

The ISL budget has an expected surplus of only $654, while showing a three hundred percent increase in expected fundraising and a dependence on per-pupil revenue from the state, which means that enrollment levels must be met for the 2012-2013 school year in order for the budget to be met.

ISL is adding a Jefferson Parish school for the upcoming year.

Sean Wilson, ISL’s Head of School, said that opening a new school in Jefferson Parish will grant access to a “relatively untapped market” of charter school revenue opportunities. He also noted that as a school grows, particularly past the 1,000 student mark, a greater number of larger donors is expected to become available. In the past, ISL has met its fundraising goals.

The International School of Louisiana will have help meeting these new goals with a new director of finance and new director of development and fundraising joining the team. Both hold master’s degrees in finance and have more than twenty years of experience in their respective fields.

State revenue will also be important to keeping the ISL budget from slipping into the red.

Currently, enrollment levels at the Camp and Olivier campuses are on target, while the new Jefferson Parish school is slightly behind. Enrollment numbers, if not met, could leave the school at a financial loss. Wilson said he is prepared to do a hard budget revision in mid-August if the enrollment numbers do not meet projections.

Should the schools fall short this year, Wilson said he will go anywhere but the classroom to make cuts. Unfilled positions, professional development expenses, and miscellaneous expenses rank high on the chopping block.

After ending the meeting in executive session, the board decided to extend Wilson’s contract for another two years.

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