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No-interest loan from MLK Charter eases Craig Charter back to $200,000 surplus

Joseph A. Craig Charter School, which closed out the past school year with a $1.1 million deficit, is expected to have a $200,000 surplus at the end of this year.

Friends of King Schools’ board met Feb. 10 to discuss school finances and get updates from school officials on overall progress.

A $705,000, no-interest loan from the organization’s other school, Dr. King Charter, has greatly improved Craig’s financial outlook – the organization would have had a $735,000 deficit this year. That, plus other expected money, will instead bring Craig to its near-$200,000 surplus.

King officials have said that last year’s deficit was due to Craig’s large population of unclassified special-education students, as well as to other costs associated with opening a new charter school.

Board members applauded as George Rabb wrapped up his finance presentation at the Tuesday meeting.

Also at the meeting, Friends of King displayed public comment cards, signalling an intent to open the floor to public comment. But it appeared that no cards were submitted, and board president Hilda Young did not ask for public comment before voting approval of minutes of the previous meeting and then adjourning.

State law requires school boards to ask for public comment before voting on any agenda item. Louisiana Department of Education officials questioned King chief executive officer Doris Roché-Hicks and board attorney Tracie Washington about the board’s adherence to this law after their December meeting, state spokesman Barry Landry said on Jan. 22. Young did not call for comment at that meeting either.

“The Friends of King board has committed to ensuring the public is aware of the comment card process for submitting comments,” Landry said.

Other Friends of King updates:

  • Dr. King Charter School held a career day on Feb. 12. Nearly 30 professionals attended and talked to students about their various careers, according to a program agenda.

  • At the Urban League’s Schools Expo, held Feb. 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, nearly 50 parents and visitors expressed interest in Craig, and about 60 expressed interest in King’s high school, high school principal Lindsey Moore and Craig principal Ora Wiley said. King and Craig will know more about the number of applications received once the OneApp common enrollment application period closes.

  • Construction of King’s high school building, adjacent to its main building on Caffin Avenue, has begun, Roché-Hicks told the board.

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