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Hearing on $8.1 million Einstein budget draws no public input

Even though Einstein Charter School’s budget is increasing nearly two-fold as it takes on an academically failing school next year, no members of the public came to comment on the proposed $8.1 million budget.

At the public hearing Tuesday night, a requirement of state law, board members leafed through budget packets and asked questions of Einstein’s business manager Doug Guidry. The Lens highlighted several changes in Einstein’s budget, which is nearly doubling from this year’s $4.6 million.

Einstein received a $1 million federal grant earlier this year to turnaround Intercultural Charter School, which loses its charter June 30. Einstein will take over ICS July 1, and is calling the site Einstein Extension.

Members waited for 45 minutes to take public comment and with no members of the public on hand, members adjourned the meeting at 5:45 p.m. Members Laurin Jacobsen, Lauren Pigeon, Emily Danielson, Donnica Conway, and Kathy Litchfield and Ryan Bennett were present.

The board will meet June 4 for its regularly scheduled meeting.

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About 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 to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • nickelndime

    The proposed Einstein budget meeting, held on May 28, 2013, was posted when??? It would be in this charter school’s best interests to ensure that the public (not just The Lens reporter ) is duly notified. If packets were prepared in advance (and obviously the board was leafing through something), and the Einstein Board knew of the meeting (because some of the members were in attendance), why was this meeting not posted in advance or even mentioned at the board meeting on May 7? Other charter schools are making their budget meetings known well in advance. And oh yes, New Schools for New Orleans, Inc. (DUNS 794687041) is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do too. Looks like the Einstein Board is playing musical-chair meeting scheduling again, not to mention that bogus (token) email addresses for the Board of Directors were on the school’s website as late as May 1, 2013. Now, think about it – why was no one from the public in attendance? Maybe because the public did not know about the meeting!