Warren Easton Charter School’s proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year shows little change from last year. Expenditures will rise $113,000, a 1.6 percent increase.

Notable differences include a doubling of the projected use fee, for an increase of $79,422. The use fee is determined by the Orleans Parish School Board and covers flood and property insurance for the building.  Financial Officer Mike Greer said the increase is standard, as most charter schools are given a reduced bill during the first year of a new contract.

Salaries are expected to cost $3.6 million, an increase of about $100,000. The school is adding 4.5 positions including a math teacher, English teacher, grant developer, and an additional computer technician.

Teacher stipends, however, which totaled $301,253 last year, are being cut by 20 percent. Greer said the reduction in stipends results from the end of the school’s Gulf Coast Recovery grant.  The 2011-2012 school year was the second of two years for the $500,000 grant.  Greer said some additional stipends may come through the Orleans Parish School Board, but he did not include those in the projected budget, as he doesn’t yet have the details.

The Lens is awaiting the school’s response to a public records request seeking to clarify the difference between stipends and salaries and who is receiving them. The request was submitted to Warren Easton’s board of directors July 3.

The school is budgeting for 880 students, based on its February enrollment.  State and local funding is estimated at $8,105 per student.

Greer expects a 3 percent rise in transportation, similar to many other schools.  He said the school is still in talks regarding their contract with Berry Transportation.

Easton’s budget anticipates a 65 percent drop in Title II funding, compared with 2011-2012.  Title II money is federal funding focused on improving teacher quality, but the amount can be unpredictable. Last year the school expected $40,106 – the same amount in the projected 2012-13 budget — but ended up receiving $112,840.  Last year Title II money paid the salary of one teacher, in addition to materials and professional development for others.  Greer said additional money might come from the parish school board, as in the past.

The school is counting on an increase in federal funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to pay for three paraprofessionals in the coming year.

The school carried a balance of $10.3 million into the new fiscal year, which began July 1.

A public budget hearing will be held at the school today at 5 p.m.

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...