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Adding 9th graders + move to Gretna = healthy fund balance for coming year

Milestone/SABIS will enjoy a healthy end-of-year fund balance, thanks to the addition of ninth-graders and the school’s move from Uptown New Orleans to Gretna, the board announced at its annual budget hearing.

Next year’s budget is $4.7 million, a 30 percent increase from last year.

The 2012-2013 budget hearing, held August 20, was attended by principal Catherine Boozer, finance director Rodney Lilley, and two representatives from SABIS, a for-profit education management company. Tillman Hardy was the only absent board member.

A reporter for The Lens was the only member of the general public in attendance.

Based on a projected enrollment of 528 students, the school’s total allocation under the state’s Minimum Foundation Program is budgeted at $4.6 million, about 99% of school revenues. Currently, the school has 503 enrolled students.

Higher transportation costs due to the move to Gretna and the addition of two new teachers brings total spending to $4.4 million, a 24 percent rise from last year.

Bus services for the school year are estimated at $292,000. School administrators said a proposed bus-share plan with a nearby school never materialized. SABIS’ management fee, calculated at 13 percent of MFP revenue, is $618,000.

The school will save about $240,000 on rent, as the lease on the new building is half that on the former Uptown campus.

The budget includes a reserve fund in excess of $200,000.

The budget hearing lasted 17 minutes.

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