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Pupil count lower than expected

Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business is adjusting its yearly budget to account for a lower-than-expected student enrollment, treasurer David Bailey said at a board meeting Monday night that also included discussion of the financial impact of adopting the Common Core curriculum.

According to Bailey, “substantial variances” were present in the budget due to the school hiring fewer employees than expected, and thus spending less on salaries and employee benefits. As of Oct. 1, 323 students are enrolled at Miller-McCoy.

“We are in the process of revising the budget based on current student level,” Bailey said.

He added that putting Common Core standards into place has resulted in an additional expense to the school of approximately $50,000.

Bailey also provided an update on an ongoing audit of the school, which has completed its field work, and said that he hoped the finance board would be able to review the audit report in full at its November meeting.

Other variances in the budget stemmed from ongoing repair and maintenance costs.

“We’re trying to get a handle on that,” Bailey said. “We are going back to former contractors and holding their feet to the fire to get the school to where it should be.”

Nathaniel Jones provided a favorable report on ongoing construction, and discussed his wish to emulate Carver High School by raising funds to build a stadium at Miller-McCoy. Carver’s own stadium, dubbed the “Field of Dreams,” was recently completed this past September.

“We’re going to have to do something very similar to that… Keep that in the back of your mind,” Jones said, adding that a “comprehensive effort in fundraising” would be necessary to tackle a long-term project such as a stadium.

Also discussed at the meeting was implementation of the Louisiana Department of Education’s new letter grade system, and the ongoing effort by the board to create a separate foundation capable of receiving funds.

Present at the meeting were Bailey, Jones, Michael Todd, Blake Oakes, Damon Singleton, and Martin DeLaureal. Board members Ralph Brennan, Betty Hope and Benton Smallpage were absent.

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  • nickelndime

    Fewer students, less money, fewer teachers (classroom personnel), but why do administrative costs (salaries) remain high in comparison and why does the board continue to keep non-teaching personnel on salary? A stadium!? A stadium?!! I can hardly believe my eyes. Someone (this is the board’s responsibility) must pay attention to academics first. Funding must focus on what happens in the classrooms – teachers and students; teaching and learning. Not stadiums and fundraising.