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ISL board approves $3 million growth in budget for its three charter schools

The board of trustees of the International School of Louisiana unanimously signed off on the school’s 2013-2014 budget Wednesday night. The board’s action marks the official approval of the $16 million budget, but the spending plan will not be sent to the state until its due date at the end of July.

The budget marks a roughly $3 million increase over the projected budget for last school year.

All of the members threw their support behind the budget plan. At the meeting, discussion turned to an increase in projected grants and donations to the three-campus school of roughly $600,000 over the 2012-2013 school year. The budget projects that the school will raise roughly $790,000 from outside donors, up from a projection of about $195,000 last year.

CEO Sean Wilson has said the projected increase in outside contributions is tied to a strategy that involves devoting a full-time person to researching grants and exploring partnerships. Wilson has also said he is projecting that the school can raise $110,000 through fundraising appeals next year, up from zero last year.

Board member Mike Lappa asked Wilson to provide a report on the progress of the contributions on a monthly basis, both in order to track fundraising and help board members be involved in the process through potential appeals to donors, or other means.

“Something like that would help us to understand there’s something behind a pretty big number,” Lappa said.

The budget projects growth in the number of students at all three of the ISL campuses. The School’s Camp Street campus in the Lower Garden District is expected to grow from 584 to 640 students. The Olivier Street campus in Algiers is expected to grow from 152 to 215 students, while enrollment at the Bunche campus in Metairie is expected to increase from 324 to 400 students.

The passage of the budget followed a public hearing June 6, during which members of the Board’s finance committee questioned Wilson about a $100,000 increase in transportation funding for the Bunche campus, and a 21 percent reduction in spending on counselors, which will replace the school’s two current counselors with one social worker. The budget also includes about $45,000 for an evaluation of the finance department and other management by an outside consultant.

“We went through a pretty substantial process, and asked a lot of questions as a committee,” outgoing board treasurer David Bordson-Bozzo said. “I think we were very thorough with this.”

Board members also held elections of new officers at the meeting, promoting a slate of candidates that outgoing Board President Andrew Yon said was approved by “consensus.”

By a unanimous vote, Mike Amoss assumed the role of president, while Lappa was elected as vice president. Meanwhile, Barbara Griffin will continue as secretary and Dwayne Rucker will assume the treasurer’s role. Lappa was also appointed to a second three-year term.

 

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