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Warren Easton expects slight decrease in revenues in $8.3 million 2013-14 budget

Warren Easton Charter High School anticipates running on a slightly smaller operating budget in the 2013-14 school year than it did the year before.

A preliminary look at the 2013-14 budget shows anticipated revenue of about $8.3 million. As of Jan. 31, the school’s projected revenues for 2012-13 were expected to reach more than $8.5 million by the end of the fiscal year.

This time last year, however, the school only planned for an 2013-13 operating budget of nearly $8.1 million.

The public is invited to speak to the budget today at 5 p.m., during a public hearing to be held at the school, 3019 Canal St.

The decrease comes partially from a decline in per pupil funding through the district’s Minimum Foundation Program. The school’s student count is expected to stay at 920, the same as last year.

State revenues for MFP are budgeted to be $4,127 per student, compared to $4,218 per student projected for 2012-13. For local revenues, the rate is budgeted to be $4,040 per student compared to $4,130 per student in the 2012-13 projected budget, according to the school’s documents.

In a document summarizing the budget changes, Principal Alexina Medley noted that the numbers could easily require adjustment.

“If there is any change in count by October 1, 2013 or to the taxes collected by the City of New Orleans, an adjustment will be made to the amount distributed,” Medley wrote.

The largest percentage increase in revenue comes from Eagle’s Nest, which is expected to double in 2013-14 from $9,000 to $18,000. Eagle’s Nest is a student-operated store that sells Warren Easton apparel and school supplies.

Interest revenue is also expected to increase by nearly 67 percent to $2,000.

The school is budgeting for contributions to decrease by about 54 percent to $28,430.

There is also a slight anticipated decrease in Title I revenue, down to about $526,000 from about $554,000 in the projected 2012-13 budget.

However, Warren Easton officials were notified in late May that the school would receive a three-year federal 21st Century Learning Centers Grant, which would boost the operating budget by $108,000 each year.

Because the school just found out last month, the money doesn’t yet appear on the budget proposal, financial officer Mike Greer said.

“There will have to be a budget adjustment that will include both revenue and expenses for the $108,000,” Greer told The Lens. “It will have the same amount of revenues as expenses.”

The grant will be used for costs associated with afterschool and weekend programs, Medley said. A note attached to the budget says that federal money will be used to pay for four teachers, four paraprofessionals, two instructional coaches and one Title II teacher.

The school will reduce the number of paraprofessionals from last year by one.

Salaries, benefits, transportation costs, professional and technical services and several other items are broken down in the budget into two categories: instruction services and support service programs, which includes principals, assistant principals, coaches, counselors, social workers, office staff and other positions.

In terms of expenses, the cost of supplies decreased by nearly 54 percent, down to $198,587 from $430,344.

Stipends were also down about 54 percent, to $134,493.

“Stipends may come in a variety of sources, but we are currently unaware of any on a definite basis,” Greer said. He said that if any arise, the amount will be added to the contribution income so it will be a net effect of zero to the school’s bottom line.

Benefits expenses are expected to increase by about $102,300 or 7.3 percent to $1.5 million during the 2013-14 school year, according to Medley.

The change was mostly due to the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana contribution increase, Medley said. Greer added that the rate was 24.5 percent in the 2012-13 school year, and that it was expected to increase to 27.2 percent next year.

Salaries are also expected to increase $30,688 next year, even though the staff count is expected to remain at 88.

“This is attributable to yearly increases,” Medley explained.

Instructional salaries are budgeted to be $2.7 million next year, while salaries for support services programs are expected to be about $1.4 million.

The school also expects to pay a total of $25,755 more for transportation, an increase of nearly 4 percent compared to the current year.

“This is due to expected increase rates for bus service,” Medley said.

The school is planning for an increase in professional and technical services by $23,078.

Part of that increase is due to an expansion of janitorial services costs, Greer explained.

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