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Change in state funding formula makes for slight budget deficit; grad rates outpace state, district

Miller-McCoy’s finance committee has revised the school’s budget for the coming year to reflect a reduction in the state’s annual per-pupil allocation.

Each school received $181 less per student this year because of an increase in systemwide enrollment and higher than anticipated costs for other state-funded expenses, including pensions, according to state officials.

The unexpected drop in revenues leaves Miller-McCoy with a budget deficit of about $74,000. The school had originally expected an enrollment of 552 students, but the head count stabilized at 387.

In other business at its monthly meeting, the board approved a 2013-2014 school-year calendar, with 10.7 days more than required by the state. That assures the minimum can be met even if the school needs to close for an emergency like a hurricane.

The school’s interim chief executive officer, Andrea Thomas-Reynolds, reported that the projected graduation rate for this year’s seniors is 97 percent, and the rate of students graduating within four years stands at 75 percent, an improvement on the statewide average of 72.3, an all-time high for Louisiana, and far better than the Recovery School District average of 55.4.

Reynolds noted that the school’s nurse, Delyndia Green is president-elect of the Louisiana School Nurses Association. During Thomas-Reynold’s time at the school, Green started working more days each week and brought the school’s immunization rate to 100 percent. Thomas-Reynolds said she hopes that the school’s focus on health improvements will attract wellness-focused grants.

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