Ben Franklin High School’s preliminary budget anticipates revenue of $8.1 million for 2014-15, an 8.8 percent increase from the current year.
The preliminary 2014-15 budget reserves $25,000 for legal expenses compared to $2,500 in 2013-14, a ten-fold increase. Chief financial officer Allison Bent Bowler declined to comment on reasons for the burgeoning reserve.
Eighty-five percent of Franklin’s teachers petitioned to unionize in April and the school’s board of directors voted May 15 to officially recognize United Teachers of New Orleans, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, as the faculty’s bargaining unit.
For the coming year, the school’s projected student count will climb by 20 to 880. The state’s per-pupil allocation under the Minimum Foundation Program stands at $8,938.
The projected $6.2 million in teacher salaries is up 9.2 percent from the current year.
Other areas that will see increased spending include textbooks, repairs and maintenance services, rental of equipment and vehicles, printing and binding/publishing, meal/travel expenses, food service management, disposal services, and advertising.
The one area where spending will decrease is auditing. The new budget allots $24,000 for it, down from $30,000 last year.
A public hearing to discuss the budget will be June 10. Franklin’s board will vote the budget up or down on June 12.