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Increased state revenues offset higher building costs, benefit expenses

The ARISE Academy board’s prospective budget for the 2012-13 school year shows a 26 percent increase in revenue from the prior year, balanced by a similar increase in expenses.

The board will hold a public budget hearing 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22, at their campus on 3819 St. Claude Avenue.

ARISE, which expands to a Pre-k  through fifth grade school this year, is now the sole tenant in its building after its former co-tenant, Charles Drew Elementary, vacated the premises on July 1.

Projected revenues in next year’s budget total $4.2 million, up from $3.4 million last year.

Over eighty percent of revenues come from state funds allocated to schools on a per-pupil basis. The budget estimates 461 students will enroll at ARISE, yielding approximately $3.4 million from the state. Title I and IDEA funds add another $320,000 to the operating budget, in addition to $229,000 from the School Improvement Grant (SIG), a federal grant disbursed to schools located in low-income communities.

School expenses are $4.2 million, up 26 percent from last year’s total of $3.3.

The majority of spending goes to staff salaries and benefits, which collectively account for 71 percent of the budget.

Salaries are expected to cost $2.5 million this year, a 39 percent increase from last year. Meanwhile, employee benefits will rise to $566,000, a 62 percent increase from the $349,000 spent in 2011-12.

Since ARISE is now the sole occupant of its building, utilities, building insurance costs and custodial services will roughly double.

The budget estimates the school will finish the 2012-13 year with a $30,873 balance.

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