Charter Schools Related schools coverage »

What to do with a windfall of new grants, revenues? Public budget hearing set for May 22

The New Beginnings Schools Foundation is getting millions of additional dollars for its four schools thanks to grants and an additional windfall from adjusted per-pupil funding owed by the Orleans Parish School Board.

At the board’s May meeting, Karen Craig, the foundation’s chief financial officer, gave an updated budget presentation for the 2013-14 school year. Craig said budget adjustments are normally made earlier in the year; she was giving the presentation this late because of the unexpected revenue.

“Each school received quite a bit more grant funding than was originally budgeted.That’s not going to be the case for fiscal year 2015, but it is for fiscal year 2014,” Craig said.

Pierre A. Capdau Charter School got an additional $438,845 in per-pupil funds, which will be placed in reserve for next year, Craig said. Capdau also got an additional $532,993 in grants for the current year.

Medard H. Nelson Charter School received an additional $562,026 in per-pupil revenue and will use the money in part to pay staff in the coming school year, Craig said. The school also got $411,175 from grants.

Lake Area New Tech Early College High School received $780,992 in additional per-pupil funding and $213,599 from grants.

Gentilly Terrace Charter School got $509,241 in per-pupil funding and $133,812 from additional grants.

The board voted to adjust budgeted spending levels to reflect the added money.

Board member Wanda Brooks asked Craig if the money would go directly to the principals for their schools.

“Our principals are going to be in real good shape, right? I just want to make sure they get their money,” Brooks said.

Brooks also wanted to know if the schools’ principals faced a deadline for spending the OPSB money. Craig said the majority of the schools’ money would go into their reserve funds.

Brooks took issue with the plan for Capdau to use the new money to erase a projected budget deficit, instead urging that funds be found elsewhere to balance the budget.

“How can we think outside the box so we can do something different for those schools?” Brooks asked.

The finance committee agreed to review next year’s budget at a meeting on May 21, one day before the May 22 budget hearing.

Under the 2014-15 budgets as now projected, Capdau anticipates $3.4 million in expenditures, Gentilly Terrace $3.8 million, Lake Area $5.9 million and Nelson approximately $4 million.

The budget hearing, which is open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. May 22 in room 438 of the CERM building, 2045 Lakeshore Drive.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.