Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

SRC delays charter decision, citing budget concerns

On Friday, the School Reform Commission postponed its decision about whether to keep a charter school open, citing concerns about budgeting and enrollment. Belmont Charter, a 1-8 school, wants to have its license renewed and add 275 seats. Each new charter seat costs the district an estimated $7,000 annually, according to officials. The district, which recently projected that charter expansions approved this spring will cost $139 million over five years, recommended renewing the charter but adding no extra seats. Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky questioned the district’s assumption that there would be no additional seats at the school. Belmont Charter differs from many other charter schools because it draws its students from a specific location. The charter estimates that it will need the additional seats because enrollment has steadily increased. “How do we predict our budget?” Dworetzky asked. “Those 275 seats are going to cost the same 7,000 bucks.” Thomas Darden, the district’s deputy for strategic initiatives, disagreed that the charter would expand as much as predicted. The SRC decided to withdraw the resolution to renew Belmont Charter, but will consider it later. The Commissioners also authorized the renewal of the Belmont Academy charter, but didn’t grant its request for an additional 250 seats. Belmont Academy is a feeder school for Belmont Charter, serving pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

SRC delays charter decision, citing budget concerns

Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky expressed concerns about renewing Belmont Charter.
Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky expressed concerns about renewing Belmont Charter.

On Friday, the School Reform Commission postponed its decision about whether to keep a charter school open, citing concerns about budgeting and enrollment.
Belmont Charter, a 1-8 school, wants to have its license renewed and add 275 seats. Each new charter seat costs the district an estimated $7,000 annually, according to officials.
The district, which recently projected that charter expansions approved this spring will cost $139 million over five years, recommended renewing the charter but adding no extra seats.
Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky questioned the district’s assumption that there would be no additional seats at the school. 
Belmont Charter differs from many other charter schools because it draws its students from a specific location. The charter estimates that it will need the additional seats because enrollment has steadily increased. 
“How do we predict our budget?” Dworetzky asked. “Those 275 seats are going to cost the same 7,000 bucks.”
Thomas Darden, the district’s deputy for strategic initiatives, disagreed that the charter would expand as much as predicted.
The SRC decided to withdraw the resolution to renew Belmont Charter, but will consider it later. The Commissioners also authorized the renewal of the Belmont Academy charter, but didn’t grant its request for an additional 250 seats. Belmont Academy is a feeder school for Belmont Charter, serving pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

On Friday, the School Reform Commission postponed its decision about whether to keep a charter school open, citing concerns about budgeting and enrollment.

Belmont Charter, a 1-8 school, wants to have its license renewed and add 275 seats. Each new charter seat costs the district an estimated $7,000 annually, according to officials.

The district, which recently projected that charter expansions approved this spring will cost $139 million over five years, recommended renewing the charter but adding no extra seats.

Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky questioned the district’s assumption that there would be no additional seats at the school. 

Belmont Charter differs from many other charter schools because it draws its students from a specific location, and has no enrollment cap. The charter estimates that it will need the additional seats because enrollment has steadily increased. 

“How do we predict our budget?” Dworetzky asked. “Those 275 seats are going to cost the same 7,000 bucks.”

Thomas Darden, the district’s deputy for strategic initiatives, disagreed that the charter would expand as much as predicted.

The SRC decided to withdraw the resolution to renew Belmont Charter, but will consider it later. The Commissioners also authorized the renewal of the Belmont Academy charter, but didn’t grant its request for an additional 250 seats. Belmont Academy is a feeder school for Belmont Charter, serving pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.

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