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Morris Jeff windfall will hire special ed teachers, expand middle school

Morris Jeff Community School took in about $250,000 more than budgeted in the first half of the 2013-14 fiscal year, members of the Mid-City charter school’s board said at a their meeting on  Jan.18.

Most of the extra money — about $177,000 — resulted from recalculation of per-student funding available through the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) formula, according to Jared Frank, the school’s director of operations and finance.

Morris Jeff began its budgeting process for this fiscal year in April 2013, using the then-current MFP number. The number then changed three times in about four months, Frank said. Documents provided to the board showed that the school received $296,316 from the MFP in December 2013.

“We’re actually getting more money per student than what we budgeted for,” Frank said.

The school received about $50,000 more as a result of the Orleans Parish School Board’s failure to report one month of tax revenue in 2011-12.

“From what I understand, there’s possibly more to come,” Frank said.

Principal Patricia Perkins said the extra money would be used to hire special-education staff and to expand the middle school.

Overall, the school is in good shape financially because officials budgeted conservatively, Frank said.

The school’s 2012-13 audit has been completed and submitted to the state. Frank described it as a clean report with no irregularities. The auditor will likely address the board next month, Frank said.

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