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Higher International High School enrollment helps bottom line

At a brief meeting Wednesday night, the board that governs International High School of New Orleans passed a revised budget for the 2013-14 school year that increases both revenue and expenditures.

Since the school’s initial budget was passed, revenue increased by about $480,000 as a result of an increase in enrollment and state payments. That offset costs associated with maintenance on the school’s building, adding a bus and purchasing supplies, along with other expenses, said Voices for International Business and Education treasurer Henry Blumenthal.

The budget is expected to have a $6,965 surplus at the end of the year.

In its initial school year budget, the CBD-based charter school budgeted for 446 students. The revised budget is for 471 students, which compares with the school’s current actual enrollment of 469 students, school officials said.

The school also received money from the state as a result of an increase in per-student payments and about $40,000 for teacher raises from the state’s Minimum Foundation Program

Overall, the school’s budget money from the state’s Minimum Foundation Program increased by $557,661 from the initial budget passed over the summer.

Among a long list of expense increases presented by Blumenthal, maintenance costs stood out as the most costly single item. The school spent just shy of $130,000 to repair a major electrical issue with the building in September, as well as an additional $19,000 more than initially planned for a termite issue in the computer lab that continues to fester.

“The whole maintenance budget was $97,000 more than we thought,” Blumenthal said.

Other costs included $48,000 to add a bus route for students in eastern New Orleans, about $25,000 for computers and about $17,000 for graphing calculators, budget documents state.

With the new income, the school also added $25,000 to its emergency fund and about $57,000 to its reserve, documents state.

“It still anticipates us being able to fill the emergency fund to the $50,000 we put in, and our five percent reserve,” Blumenthal said.

The revised budget was first presented to the full board at the school’s November meeting, then sent back to the finance committee for further consideration due to the breadth of changes. The finance committee, which met just prior to Wednesday night’s board meeting, then recommended passage with virtually no changes to the document that was presented in November.

The board also voted to formally accept the resignation of longtime member Andrew Ward, who resigned in November because he is moving to Colorado.

The next VIBE Board meeting is Jan. 22, at 6 p.m.

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