BAKER — A possible $1.1 million shortfall in the Baker school district budget could result in cuts and reduction of staff through attrition in the 2014-15 school year, largely because of the number of Baker students attending charter schools.
The projected budget that business manager Sidney Stewart presented to the School Board on Tuesday lists expenditures of $16.7 million and revenues of $15.6 million for 2014-15, leaving a $1.1 million deficit.
Most of the loss in funding is expected to result from Baker receiving less money from the state Minimum Foundation Program, which gives school districts money based on the number of students enrolled. Baker is expected to lose students to some charter schools.
Documents from the state Department of Education show Baker is projected to lose $50,000 to Madison Preparatory Academy, $512,000 to Impact Charter Academy, $659,000 to Advantage Charter Academy and $112,000 to Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy because of students leaving Baker public schools to attend the charters.
Madison Preparatory Academy is in Baton Rouge, and LAVCA is an online high school.
Advantage Charter Academy and Impact Charter Academy are both in Baker and opened in August.
Advantage Charter Academy serves grades K-5 and Impact Charter Academy offers grades K-3.
MFP money makes up 66 percent of the Baker school district’s budget. The district expects to receive $10.2 million in MFP funds in 2014-15 in contrast to the $11.2 million it received in 2013-14. Revenue from local sales and use taxes also is projected to be down $100,000. In 2013-14, school district revenue was $16.7 million.
Interviewed after the meeting, Stewart acknowledged that cuts would have to be made during the year. Some reduction in personnel through attrition was possible, she said.
The state will check enrollment of schools again in October and make adjustments to the MFP funding if necessary. Stewart said she hopes the recheck will allow the district to get some of the funding back.
“(Superintendent Ulysses) Joseph has been checking at the (Baker public) schools and we thought enrollment was down but it is actually getting better,” Stewart said.
The school board passed the budget unanimously without addressing the expected drop in revenue.