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Morris Jeff school’s income better than expected

Morris Jeff Community School’s net income for last fiscal year “far exceeded” the budgeted amount because of strong fundraising and late and unexpected grants from the state, board treasurer Melissa Jagers announced at a recent meeting.

The end-of-year net income came to $123,411, according to a financial statement Jagers gave to the board of directors Thursday. The board had budgeted $10,258 in revenue.

“We raised a lot more money than we initially set out to do,” Jagers said.

Of that amount, the school received a $15,000 moving stipend that was not previously budgeted, Jagers said.

The school moved from a building on 2239 Poydras St. to Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, located on 3368 Esplanade Ave. in Mid-City, just in time for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

The school also received a restricted grant from the Recovery School District for $14,000, from a pool of money left from Pre-Katrina funds that were allocated to current RSD schools, Jagers said.

“They’re getting it to us eight years later,” Jagers said.

The grant is restricted to student activities and must be used by the end of this school year, according to the financial report.

Jagers added that the school would be using the unexpected surplus for things like positive behavior incentives and educational field trips.

The state also will  allocate about $6,400 to Morris Jeff from money it received in a Race to the Top Grant. The grant is given to states that are leaders in comprehensive education reform, providing healthy examples for other states to follow, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Finally, the school has a surplus in fundraising and about $9,360 of outstanding tuition for the school’s private-pay pre-kindergarten, Jagers said.

She added that $6,708 of that came from school years prior to 2012-13.

Jared Frank, the Director of Finance and Operations for the school, said Morris Jeff took precautions when it came to budgeting.

“A healthy fund balance is very important,” Frank said. “We have that – not a lot of schools do.”

During a principal’s report, Patricia Perkins announced a partnership with GE Capital that started Saturday. The bank will work to spruce up the school, providing paint jobs and carpentry work for two play areas, according to the report.

The school  also will be partnering with the Young Audiences through a 21st Century afterschool grant to provide professional artists for the Morris Jeff Explorers program.

The addition is part of a larger effort to expand and improve Explorers, Morris Jeff’s before- and after-school program, the report said.

“It’s very exciting,” Board President Wanda Anderson-Guillaume added.

Aside from Anderson-Guillaume and Jagers, board members Aesha Rasheed, Jennifer Weishaupt, Heather Schwartz, Kamala Baker-Jackson and Catherine Pacyna were present.

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