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Board approves next year’s budget; $2.4 million expected

The New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy Board of Directors approved the school’s budget for next year on Thursday.

The school expects to get $2.4 million in the 2012-13 school year, with about a million each coming from state and local per-student funding, and an additional $240,000 from a federal grant.

It expects to spend about $2.2 million. The biggest slice of that – $1.3 million – will go towards funding salaries. Employee benefits will cost the board another nearly $240,000. The rest of the incoming cash will fund supplies and services costs.

Though the school doesn’t expect to incur any debts next year, student enrollment could be an important factor. There are 104 students attending NOMMA. Col. Bill Davis, who serves as commandant at the school, estimated that 10 to 20 percent of those students might not return. However, the school has 130 applications on file for the upcoming year, and he felt they would be in good shape, he said. The budget is based on an estimated 250 students, and the school would only likely incur a debt if enrollment fell below 217 students.

Davis and school Principal Cecilia Garcia stressed that low enrollment, and the financial debts that incur as a result, would improve in future years, as the school expands its grades. The school only accepts freshmen, but expects to expand to a full high school in the coming years. An example, Garcia said, lay in the amounts they were reimbursed for special education costs: the state only reimbursed $19,000 of the school’s $70,000 in special education salaries as a result of having so few students.

Despite receiving a low reimbursement, Davis said that the school “had to do the right thing” in paying its teachers and offering those services.

The board voted unanimously to admit Marcellus Grace as its newest member. Grace was former Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Xavier College, and a Medical Service Corps Naval Reserve Captain.

Board President Col. Terry Ebbert, members Carol McCall, Capt. Dave Whiddon, Maj. Gen. Walter Paulson, and Lt. Gen. Walter Paulson, were all present at the meeting, as well as new member Marcellus Grace.  Also present were Col. Bill Davis, Principal Cecilia Garcia, Cindy Bergman, and Stephanie Bibbs.   Absent were members Eades Hogue, James Reiss, Maj. Blake LeMaire, and Courtney Bagneris.


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