Charter Schools

Foundation Prep attracts enough students to make it through first year, board told

Foundation Preparatory Charter School is just two pupils shy of its 40-student enrollment goal — a scaled-down target that still seemed daunting just weeks ago.

More importantly, the charter school has enough students to remain solvent in its inaugural year. The school had 16 students enrolled the week it opened in mid-August, far short of its plan for 75.

“We are, as of today, at 38 students,” school leader Myrialis King said to her board Wednesday night.

King said two additional students are ready to enroll. That’s good news as the state prepares to take its official student count on Oct. 1, which determines per-pupil funding for public schools statewide.

The charter school’s board unanimously approved a revised budget Wednesday, reflecting 40 students. The Orleans Parish School Board, Foundation Prep’s authorizer, required the amended budget.

The amended budget shows an 18 percent decrease in revenue and 10 percent decrease in expenses. The school increased its philanthropic goals from $529,750, or 38 percent of all revenue, to $670,092, now making up 60 percent of revenue.

Twenty-three of those 38 students are in kindergarten and 15 are in first-grade. Foundation Prep added first-grade the same day it opened, when it became clear the school would not reach its enrollment goal by solely accepting kindergarten students. Another new charter school, Cypress Academy had also planned to open to only kindergarteners but added first grade as well.

Students are still attending class in a temporary space as they await the completion of leased portables placed at the Michoud site.

The move hinges on the school’s long-awaited certificate of occupancy from the city, board member Mark Heck said. He expects to have it in three to four days.

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