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[Corrected:] Budgeted expenses continue to exceed revenues for the coming year

As presented by the board of directors at a public hearing on July 30, the draft 2012-13 budget for New Orleans College Preparatory Academies shows an $11.2 million increase over last year last year’s in total expenditures, a 14 percent increase based on a projected enrollment of 960 students.

Correction: The original story misstated the budget increase and has been corrected.

As expected, next year’s expenses outpace anticipated revenues by about $300,000.

The board has held extensive discussions in the past few months, as it seeks to trim costs and balance its books.

The board hopes fundraisers and other donations will plug the $300,000 hole but will dip into its reserves if need be.

Seventy-one percent of the board’s revenues are expected from the state’s per-pupil allocation, at a rate of $8,140 for each student. The anticipated $7.8 million total, up by $1.4 million from last year, is attributed to an enrollment increase of 150 students.

Salaries, which account for 51 percent of expenses, are $5.7 million, up from about $5 million last year, due to additional hires and an across-the-board 2 percent cost-of-living pay raise.

The salary budget also includes $316,000 for teacher performance bonuses. and the 5 percent pay hike bonus for executive director Ben Kleban approved at the last board meeting.

Correction: Kleban received a bonus, not a raise; further, Kleban’s bonus approved by the board was for the 2011-12 year.

Utility expenses will triple as a result of greater building use and increased occupancy at Cohen College Prep High.

Last year, NOCP occupied one floor of the three-story building and paid a third of utility costs, with the Recovery School District paying the rest. Next year, NOCP will use most of the facility and assume a greater portion of the cost, currently budgeted at $333,000.

The school’s property insurance for the building also increased as a result of expanded use.

NOCP’s revenue stream has been impacted by expiration of a three-year $500,000-per-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a national philanthropy.

Other expenses such as supplies, food services and transportation are up only slightly.

The afternoon hearing was attended by board members Kenneth Polite, James Raby and Peter Harding. Kleban and three reporters from the Lens were also present.

The board was expected to approve the budget at a meeting on July 31.

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