New Beginnings charters score $1.9 million in per-pupil funding, some of it overdue

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The New Beginnings Schools Foundation charter management group is slated to get more than $1.9 million in additional per-pupil state funding over the next couple of months.

The allocation, funneled through the Orleans Parish School Board, makes up for funds that should have been received in prior years by the four-school group, chief financial officer Karen Craig announced at a finance committee meeting Monday.

“It’s such great news,” Craig told the full board following the finance committee meeting. “This is not in the budget. This is distribution based on [enrollment] numbers that occurred in 2010 and 2011.”

A document released by the network allocates the money as follows, based on Feb. 1 enrollments:

  • $359,425 to Pierre A. Capdau Charter School, with 376 students.
  • $470,327 to Medard H. Nelson Charter School, with 492 students.
  • $422,889 to Gentilly Terrace Charter School, with 477 students.
  • $650,871 to Lake Area New Tech Early College High School, with 660 students.

The charter organization will also get an extra $458,200 this year, thanks to a BESE vote on March 14 to increase the per-student state allocation by 2.75 percent, or $232 per student, Craig said.

During the board meeting, chairman Ramsey Green complimented staff on Capdau’s enrollment, which grew by four between the October and February head counts.

“We were projecting to be somewhere around 25 students under-enrolled, according to the budget,” Green said. “It’s really nice to see enrollment higher, and I think this is a testament to the work teachers have done.”

In other news, Lake Area New Tech received a School Leadership Choice Award from National School Choice Week, according to a report issued by principal Darren Lewis, and six New Tech students were chosen to attend a Girls Leadership Summit at Dillard University.

Nelson students were chosen to show their work in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, according to a report by Sametta Brown, chief executive officer.

Nelson also received a grant from New Schools for New Orleans to take a team of teachers to Boston for a look at how high-performing charter schools are implementing Common Core standards, according to a report by principal Deidra Denis-Bradley.

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