The board that runs Lusher Charter School’s three campuses, announced 3 percent budget increase from last year in its first draft of its 2012-2013 budget, which goes into effect July 1.
The board, Advocates for Arts Based Education, will hold a public hearing on the budget Wednesday, June 5 at 10 a.m. at the Fortier Campus, 5624 Freret St., Room 207.
Next year’s budget, based on 1,720 students, is $15.3 million, up from $14.9 million this year.
Like last year, the majority of Lusher’s revenue is from local property taxes and the per-pupil allocation from the state, budgeted at $8,105 per pupil.
Taxes, which makes up 43 percent of revenues, are $6.6 million, down about $325,000, or 4 percent, from last year’s budget. Property taxes are $3.7 million, 1 percent down from last year, while sales taxes, $2.9 million or 9 percent lower.
Overall, total local revenues for next year are $7.8 million, including $1.1 million in miscellaneous funds, – which include donations, aftercare program tuition, student fees and property rental fees. This is less 2.5 percent lower than last year.
The state-provided per-pupil income for this year is $7.3 million and makes up 47 percent of school revenues. The school will also dip into its reserve fund and use $250,000 for next year’s expenses.
While Lusher’s budget message says it does not expect any revenue increases, expenses are expected to rise from last year.
Employee benefits for the school’s 174 full time staff continue to rise. All Lusher employees are required to be enrolled in the Teacher Retirement System of Louisiana, and employer contributions for this pension system has risen from 15.9 percent in 2006 to 24.5 percent in 2013.
Salaries and benefits account for 79 percent of next year’s expenses. All teaching and support staff will see a modest raise next year, Lusher’s first since the state-mandated pay rise for the 2008-2009 school year.
Salaries total $9.3 million, up 9 percent from last year. The salary total for administrators and managers is up 13 percent. Teacher salaries are up 7.7 percent. Overall benefits are also up 1 percent to $2.9 next year.
Other main expenditures, utilities, classroom supplies and textbooks, custodial services and special education supplies, are relatively level from last year.