Budget battle intensifies; school board wants balanced budget

Apr 23, 2017, 02:10
Budget battle intensifies; school board wants balanced budget

"How could any charter management company come into a community and up and decide we're not going to play anymore?" asked Quincey Morris, a lifelong resident of North Memphis, home to two schools that abruptly lost their charter operator.

To make the $1.5 million reduction, the school board will cut 19 items from its budget from a list it drafted a few weeks ago at the request of the finance board.

Valerie Tatum, superintendent of Covenant Keepers charter school, and Deron Hamilton, the school's accountant, defend the financial situation of the s.

The Princeton School Board is blaming the Princeton Charter School for why school taxes will go up by more than 4 percent this year.

Most charter schools are new starts, but the bulk of the ASD's charters are in existing schools that have struggled for years. The school board formed a three-member-committee to approach them about contributing financially to the schools, where faculty, staff and, in the case of the IAS, visiting scholars send their children.

"There should be stipulations that say reasons why you cannot pull out of a school... and under enrollment is one of them", Jones wrote on Facebook.

Some of the benefits include local control; districts can create an innovation plan for a level of school, grade level, or a single campus, and flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools.

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For his part, Charter School Board President Paul Josephson had no comment Wednesday. "I'm in the classroom just like they are", Tatum said.

But the charter school's financial situation, based off its external audit from June 2016, paints a hard financial position, Johnson said. The charter school has its own board of directors, and the Cobb School District does not oversee the school's daily operations. "I am surprised that the board put the needs of the district ahead of the needs of the students". "We have to be sensitive to the realities that shaped operators not being able to sustain the work". He said the students would be better served in other Cobb schools. Smith said commissioners don't plan to raise taxes, but he said they understand the need.

One of the candidates seeking to fill Ratliff's seat, Kelly Gonez, who teaches at a charter middle school in South Los Angeles, said she would not have supported the resolution and she regretted the board's vote.

Tatum said the school is projected to end this school year with as much as $90,000 in positive balances despite having to repay the state some $212,000 that was initially distributed on the basis of incorrect data. It's expensive to turn around schools or open a new one in an area losing school-age students as impoverished families vacate; running them requires enough students and funding to provide necessary supports.

Tripp Walter, an attorney for the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, an organization that advocates and assists charter schools and rural schools, said his organization has committed to expand the services it provides for the Rockbridge School.

The budget must still be accepted by the full board of education.

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