Crocker Arts and Technology School’s preliminary operating budget of $2.2 million for the 2012-2013 school year is a 15 percent increase from the previous year’s.

In addition to an increase in student population, the school will be moving into a new building.  The school anticipates a $240,000 increase in operational costs as a result of the move said Brendel Deemer, president of Deemer CPA & Consulting, the company the school uses for financial services.  The increases include rising costs in utilities, maintenance, and inspections.

The budget is based on an estimated student enrollment of 265.  The current student population is 245. The school is adding a fourth-grade class next year.

The school is anticipating $3,872 per pupil through the local portion of funding, said Deemer. Crocker Arts and Technology will also receive $3,582 per pupil from the state.  This funding accounts for 87 percent of the school’s revenue.

Before classes begin in the fall, the school will move to its new building on Marengo Street. The board of directors voted to allow Encore Academy to utilize unoccupied space in the new building.  Sharing space with Encore Academy will help offset costs associated with moving to the new building.

Details of how costs will be split have not yet been determined.

Notable changes include the custodial budget increasing from $31,615 to $143,893, due to the larger space in the new building, said Deemer.  Repair and maintenance costs are also increasing, from $6,472 to $53,446.  Deemer said that increase is largely a result of HVAC system maintenance necessary in the new building.  She said the current building does not have a HVAC system but uses window units.  Both line items were based on estimates provided by the Recovery School District.

Deemer said an increase in teacher salaries is related to the addition of one teaching position as well as salary adjustments for a few existing positions filled with new hires.  Teacher salaries for next year are budgeted at $620,208, an increase of $39,225.

Principal Charmaine Robertson said the school is pleased with the consulting firm’s work and will likely continue using the service instead of hiring internally.

A Lens reporter went to review the budget on Friday, June 15, but the school was closed.  On June 18 the reporter was able to enter the school and received a copy of the budget from Robertson.  The budget will be discussed on June 23 at the regular board meeting.  The meeting is at 11 a.m. at the school.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...