Apr 212012

Orleans Parish schools could be receive less money from the state per-pupil next year than in years past because of the new private-school voucher program recently signed by the governor, and Audubon School officials are concerned about how that will impact next year’s budget.

For each student that participates in the private-school voucher program, the school district’s per-pupil funding from the state will be reduced, school officials reported. Orleans Parish is considering increasing property taxes to make up for some of the shortfall next year, but Audubon Charter School officials are attempting to write next year’s budget with an uncertain amount of state funding.

“The last couple of years we have budgeted no increase, but there is a distinct possibility that next year we will suffer a decrease,” said school principal Janice Dupuy.

Costs have gone up every year without any increase in support from the state, so the prospect of a decrease now is a particularly painful blow, officials said.

“We have some lousy politics going on. That’s my personal opinion, not the opinion of the FAME board,” said school board chair Cornelius Tilton. “Every year we’re going to be scrapping to raise more funds to keep our program the quality that it is, and no one seems to care to assist that among the powers that be,” Tilton says.

Meanwhile, the board also voted to find money to repair the dilapidated bathrooms at the school’s Carrollton campus before the next school year.

To read our live coverage of the meeting, see the box below.

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