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InspireNOLA ponders taking on administrative duties performed by Algiers charter group

The InspireNOLA board of directors met Monday night to discuss handling human resources and financial management in house rather than renew a contract with the Algiers Charter Schools Association, former operator of Edna Karr High School and Alice M. Harte Charter School.

Board member Stephen Boyard Jr., reported that the strategic planning committee estimated the annual cost of hiring four to six central office personnel at between $330,000 and $435,000, plus an additional 37 percent to cover benefits. Charlie Mackles, the Algiers group’s chief financial officer who also handles finances for Inspire NOLA, said the current contract costs 2.8 percent of gross revenues, or $493,000, according to current projections. Harte principal Jamar McKneely said the board is accepting resumes and bids to get a better idea of alternatives.

McKneely and Karr principal John Hiser noted that students will be taking a variety of standardized tests in the next few months, including the LEAP test at Harte and ACT at Karr. Hiser said Karr has received roughly 1,000 OneApp applications for the upcoming school year, including 126 applications for the band program, which accommodates only 50 students. McKneely said Harte has seen 637 applications with only five students planning to leave. Both schools have seen higher than expected enrollment this year.

The next board meeting will be held on March 31 at 5:30 in the Karr library.

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