The board that governs New Orleans Charter Science and Math High held its budget hearing on June 11 and reported that it does not plan to make any significant changes to its budget for next year.
The proposed budget calls for a 2.7 percent increase over this year’s spending, rising from $3.7 million this year to $3.8 million for the 2012-2013 school year.
“We’re expecting to have 400 students instead of 370,” said board president Barbara MacPhee, who is also hoping that the Recovery School District will supply the school with unused furniture left over from the closing of Sojourner Truth Charter School.
MacPhee said the board went over the budget looking for opportunities to save, and the board has gone so far as to consider taking over certain services itself, such as lawn maintenance, which could save the school $10,000 each year.
“We’re also considering asking for a parent fee. We’ve never done that before,” said MacPhee. “We were thinking a family fee of $100, and they can pay it in four segments during the year.”
Funds from the fee would be used toward specific expenses, including bus transit and food services. The school is changing food service providers from New Orleans Parish School Board to Liberty’s Kitchen.
“This would be something that would ensure us that we can do these things,” said MacPhee. “Those services cost more than we’re showing in the budget because we haven’t funded for them, and we are going to attempt to accomplish them during the year.”
On the payroll side, N.O. Charter Science and Math made a few cuts. One of the administrative staff workers plans to take over as a counselor after the acting college counselor leaves.
The school budgeted for pay raises for teachers due an increase in relation to their years of service. No other raises were approved.
The school’s budget includes increases for teacher retirement funds, required of many schools in the area. The percentage change in health insurance costs was an increase of only about one percent.
N.O. Charter Science and Math board members say they hope that eventually there will be some changes in retirement planning that can defray these cost increases.