Patrick Henry’s financials receiving extra scrutiny

Budget was based on 250 students, currently 227 attend.

A story ran over the weekend in the RTD about funding for Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts and has lead to a wider ranging discussion of how to deal with charter school funding going forward.

The Patrick Henry budget for the current year is based on a projected enrollment of 250 students. At the end of September, when the state counts enrollment, the school had 227 students.

“This is the first time we’ve fallen below projections,” said Deborah Corliss, the chairwoman of the school’s board of directors.

She blamed the low number on a calculating error by the former principal. The school typically accepts more students than there is space available because some students ultimately go elsewhere. Last year, the school accepted exactly 250.

The school wants permission to raise its enrollment to 280 students for the 2014-15 school year.

As always PHSSA is breaking new territory and as a result the school system has to adjust how to handle the situation.

“We need standard guidelines,” said School Board Vice Chairwoman Kristen Larson of the 4th District. “We need a way so these groups know what they can expect. It should not be a year-to-year exercise of figuring it out.”

Bourne said he agreed with that.

“We ought to have a system in place, a structure for charter schools,” he said. “If everyone knows what’s happening, it will allow for some uniformity in the process. The more information everyone has, the better decisions they can make.”

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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