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

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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About Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.

  • nickelndime

    NEW BEGINNINGS: There is so much wrong here (fiscally/financially, academically and otherwise…) that I have fallen off of my chair and am rolling around on the floor and do not know how anybody could actually report this with a straight face. Is this like the song, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right” ?!? Hum?

  • boathead12

    What an opportunity! If this money is wasted, or swiped, or misused it ain’t coming back. I hope the parents from these four schools are paying attention!

  • nickelndime

    NEW BEGINNINGS: Capdau’s enrollment grew by 4 (after expecting under-enrollment)! Well yeah, I guess it’s just plain hard to entice parents to enroll their children in an academic failure. They may be at-risk (poverty level), but they are not stupid. Next. Nelson received a grant (that’s Federal money) from New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO – got a DUNS # and does business with the Feds and founder Sarah Usdin sits on the OPSB and outside money is not good thing when it goes local) to take teachers to Boston…Well, that’s going to do a lot of good here. Now, what are WE going to do about Sametta Brown (CEO) and all the non-teaching personnel (CFO, COO, CAO, Deans, yadda yadda yadda) at NEW BEGINNINGS schools who have already laid claim (hands in the till) to that 1.9 million MFP money? In 2009, a reporter with The Times Picayune posted the salary schedule of skyrocketing salaries. Then CEO (UNO Charter Network – 4 schools) Andre Perry, was #5 and $110,000 (top of the line). But now Sametta would put Andre to shame. Sametta is used to a lot of public money (formerly with the Brian Riedlinger Baptist group and its appendages, i.e., Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools, politically connected Adams and Reese, LLP). With millions of dollars in public education money, you would think that all four New Beginnings schools would operate in the black (not so!), and their academic record is a “D” for Disappointing. I see you are still commenting, boathead12. Good for you. This is a big pictrure. It really is all interrelated.