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Administrative costs back in line with state regs; enrollment holding strong

Reporting to the school’s board of directors at their monthly meeting, May 15,  chief financial officer Catrina Reed said James M. Singleton Charter next year will be in compliance with state rules that limit administrative costs to 30 percent of the budget.

The state Department of Education had notified the school last year that it was failing to meet the state requirement that 70 percent of the budget be spent on instruction, Reed said Singleton currently is spending 72.9 percent of its state funding on instruction.

Board president Douglas Evans briefed the board on escalating transportation costs. Under current contracts, rising fuel prices have inflated the anticipated budget and threaten to eat up even more of it.

One solution under discussion would restrict busing to neighborhoods outside a one-to-two mile radius of the school, obliging those who live nearby to walk. The proposal has been criticized in part because of safety issues in the school’s Central City neighborhood.

The first round of the new OneApp process is showing excellent returns thus far, the board learned.  Enrollment stands at 702, with 669 returning pupils. The second round begins soon and will allow for some growth as students appeal their top choices. Board members expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of the new process.

The Dryades Y Natatorium and Wellness Center is currently hoping for a summer opening. To many board members, this timeframe appears optimistic considering the string of delays, which have pushed the opening back from February. Jeff Nordstrom, an engineer overseeing the final stages of pool waterproofing, believes the center “will be occupied by June.”  Board members welcomed the news but said they weren’t going to get their hopes up.

Principal Melrose Biagas said she expected LEAP scores imminently and would present them at the next board meeting.

Seven of 17 board members attended the meeting, fewer than needed for the board to take effective action. Six staff and a reporter from The Lens also were present.

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