Joseph A. Craig Charter School has made some headway in paying off its $705,000 debt to Dr. King Charter School.

Craig has paid $250,000 on that loan, bringing the outstanding balance to $455,000. The Treme school borrowed the money from King last fiscal year, after startup costs and the costs of classifying special-needs students drove Craig into a $1.1 million deficit.  King’s no-interest loan can be paid off over 10 years.

Instead of a deficit this year, Craig is expecting a surplus.

Board members of the charter network that runs the two schools, Friends of King Schools, discussed the loan, recent test scores and other topics at a Tuesday meeting.

Craig sent King its most recent payment – $200,000 – after Craig received about $295,000 in deferred tax revenue this spring, board treasurer George Rabb said.

The deferred revenue is from fiscal years 2011 and 2012 – money from a $39 million windfall for all the city’s schools, caused by a change in school funding law and additional tax dollars collected in Orleans Parish.

King received about $669,000 from that pool. Both schools will spend the money on technology and school improvements.

It’s the second time in recent months that King and Craig are getting additional funds. School officials also distributed a one-time pay raise of $95,333 to teachers in December and May, money from a $69 million education appropriation approved in the 2013 legislative session.

When board members’ conversation turned to test scores, testing coordinator Ann Ford noted that fourth-graders taking LEAP had huge gains. King’s fourth graders scored the highest in the RSD for English and math, according to The Lens’ analysis.

Overall, elementary and middle-school students scored better in math than they did in English, Ford said.

High school End of Course test scores improved in algebra, English II, and English III. In geometry, “we did take a noticeable drop,” she said.

Ford said she would have an in-depth scores report in September.

Other happenings at Craig and King:

  • Summer science programs, LEAP test remediation and youth summer camps are underway at both schools, CEO Doris Roché-Hicks said. King and Craig host the summer camps in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission.

  • Friends of King’s annual budget hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 25 at 10 a.m.

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams stays on top of the city's loosely organized collection of public schools, with a special emphasis on charter schools. In 2011 she was recognized by the Press Club of New Orleans for her...