Charter Schools Related schools coverage »

Directors of The NET ponder ways to spend surplus funds; academic improvement noted

The school’s audit report, fundraising, and spending plans for the coming semester dominated discussion as the Educators for Quality Alternatives board met Tuesday night at The NET Charter High School.

An uptick in academic performance was also noted with enthusiasm.

The board reviewed a generally favorable audit report of the 2012-13 school year drafted by Jamie Anderson of Heinz & Macaluso LLC.

“Things were very well organized,” Anderson said.

A final draft will be submitted next week to the state legislative auditor.

The NET had assets of $292,403 remaining from last year’s budget and carries a net surplus of $288,421 in the current year.

“We actually need to start spending more money,” Principal Elizabeth Ostberg said. “We’re in a good financial position … There’s no point in having money if we’re not spending it on the students.  I’m not trying to keep $600,000 in the bank next semester.”

Ostberg said she plans to hire a construction and carpentry teacher, an administrative assistant, and update the computer lab.

The board was advised that an anonymous $10,000 donation was received recently. Fundraisers are planned, including a raffle in connection with trivia night at Finn McCool’s on Jan. 26 and a basketball tournament on March 22.

The NET serves at-risk students aged 16-21 and holds graduations each semester as part of its year-round program. Sixteen students are scheduled to graduate at a Saturday ceremony, Jan. 11 at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Ostberg said.

The NET is trying to recruit 30 new students to replace graduates as well as other students who have had to withdraw from the school for varying reasons. The NET’s enrollment target is 150 students.

“Right now we have 10 students who are pregnant or just gave birth,” Ostberg said. “When you look at our drop-out numbers we have a lot of kids who drop out just after having a baby. There are a ton of factors into them staying at school. It’s not something in New Orleans we’ve given a lot of thought about, but it’s something we need to think about here.”

Ostberg reported significant academic improvement in Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) examinations. Students classified as Tier 2 or Tier 3, meaning they are several grade levels behind academically, grew an average of 2.1 grade levels in math and 1.1 grade levels in reading in one semester.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
  • nickelndime

    “A generally favorable audit report of the 2012-13 school year drafted by Jamie Anderson of Heinz & Macaluso LLC.” !!!! Are you 444444 (oh my bad, I left out a 4) kidding me? These nonprofit charter boards pay for these audits to satisfy state law, and it would have to be somewhere in between planned theft, the likes of which occurred at Lusher, Langston Hughes, and the New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy (NOMMA), and a “hard place” for these accounting firms to report deficiencies to the LLA. So, let’s get real here. There are academic problems at THE NET (financial audits will not highlight this). For one thing, Ostberg does not even approach the desired qualifications or credentials to be a principal or even a fast-tracked “school leader” of public schools in Louisiana. Ask Ms. Ostberg waht her last -held position was and with what school.