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Pool swimmable by early January; Title 1 and MFP problems ironed out, but deficit lingers

The Dryades Y/ James M. Singleton Charter School board of directors met Oct. 18, with 11 of 17 members present. Absentees were Kendricks Brass, John Calhoun, Sidney Cates, Priscilla Edwards, Jacque Jackson, and Mary Joseph.

School staff members in attendance were Avis Brock, Douglas Evans, Catrina Reed, Rhenette Tobias, and Mossy Turner.

A reporter for The Lens was the only audience member.

The meeting began with a review and unanimous acceptance of an updated YMCA Natatorium and Wellness Center report.
Anticipating a project completion date of Jan. 4, board chair Herman Johnston said,  “We’ll be swimming by spring.”

Catrina Reed, the school’s chief financial officer, detailed revenues and expenses through August. The school is currently operating with a deficit due to purchases made for “opening school year supplies,” Reed said, adding that the budget should be balanced by year’s end, after receipt of state  funds. Addison Carey was among board members who warned against slipping further into the red.

The board then received a report in which the state Department of Education Report noted that the school had failed to provide documentation establishing that one of its teachers was certified as “highly qualified” and thus  eligible to be paid with Title 1 funds. The school subsequently provided the necessary certificate and offered proof that the teacher had been paid out of the general fund and not with Title 1 money, Reed said.

Reed concluded her 2010-11 fiscal year report by noting that the school now complies with the requirement that at least 70% of money available per student through the state’s Minimum Foundation Program be allocated for instruction – something that had been in doubt at the board’s previous monthly meeting. Members heaved a sigh of relief and promptly approved submitting the report to the State Department of Education.

All academic updates were postponed until the Academic Committee convenes later this month.

Following conclusion of the planned agenda, board member Kenneth Johnston
led discussion of the Louisiana Collaborative Annual Community Campaign
Charter, an effort to raise money for the Y’s throughout Louisiana, modeled on fund drives in Kentucky and New York.

Carey observed that matching the fundraising in Kentucky and New York may be difficult, given the dearth of Fortune 500 corporations in the area. But “sitting here and doing nothing will have no effect at
all,” Johnston said, “so what’s to lose in trying?”

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15, at noon.


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