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Lycée Français Charter School schedules another budget vote

After The Lens reported that the Lycée Français Charter school voted in June on its 2012-2013 budget without making adequate public announcements prior to its budget hearing, the school has re-scheduled its budget vote.

A  hearing will be held tonight, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. at 5401 S. Claiborne Ave.

According to correspondence with Catherine MacPhaille, board member, this hearing was announced in the Times Picayune and on on June 28.

For the Lycée Francais Charter School, moving to a new campus and expanding the number of classes offered will result in a 180-percent jump in expected expenses in its 2012-2013 budget, compared to last year’s budget. You can download a full budget comparison here.

The board voted unanimously to approve the $3.1 million budget at its June meeting, and members have not indicated any major changes to the planned budget since then.

According to figures provided by Jean Montes, Doctor of Musical Arts, chairman of the Lycée Français’ board of directors, the school is facing significantly higher costs in salaries, retirement payments and in rent for its State Street campus for the 2012-2013 school year.

According to previous reports in The Lens, classes for all grades, except for Pre-K3, will be held at the school’s new location, which was formerly the St. Francis of Assisi School.

With additional revenues expected from state and local sources in relation to increased enrollment, the Lycée Français board expects the budget to be balanced, including a reserve fund of $89,000.

Fee increases that come from charging tuition for all of the students in the Pre-K3 class and for charging tuition for students above a certain income level in Pre-K4 help balance the budget.

One of the more notable increases in expenses next year is for testing services. The school plans to spend $26,400–up from $400 last year–which is more than a 2,000 percent increase, according to budget figures.

First-time expenses, outlined by Montes at the June meeting, include $66,392 for new furniture and $48,500 for hardware and technology at the new campus.

The school also plans to offer lunch services for the first time next year, according to Montes.

Board members did not discuss the budget before their unanimous vote taken last month. Today’s meeting will include time for comments from the public.

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