FARMINGTON — A change in student enrollment and less cash carried over from the previous school year has led to a 10 percent budget decrease for New Mexico Virtual Academy.
The online charter school's proposed $2.87 million budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year was approved by the Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education at a board meeting on Thursday night.
The budget is about $300,000 less than the current school year's budget of $3.17 million, said Sean Fry, business manager with the consulting firm The Vigil Group of Albuquerque, during the meeting.
The New Mexico Virtual Academy is chartered through the Farmington Municipal School District.
While addressing the board, Fry said the school expected to receive more funding than it is scheduled to receive the New Mexico Public Education Department.
That stems from lower than expected enrollment figures after the introduction of 12th grade this school year, according to data the school gathered 40 days into the school year. The charter school projected its upcoming enrollment based on the enrollment count conducted then.
"When I talked to you last year, we were still phasing in the 12th grade, and we were allowed to project our numbers for enrollment," Fry said. "We missed our projection numbers, which is why we had a reduction in our 40th day (count)."
Still, overall the school is getting more state funding than it did this year. The school expects to receive $2.45 million for the upcoming school year, an increase of about $120,000 from the $2.33 million it received this year.
According to budget paperwork, projected enrollment for the upcoming school year is 468 students. That includes an increase of 13 middle school students and a decrease of 41 high school students. The charter for the school limits enrollment to 500 students.
Lynn Barr, New Mexico Virtual Academy's director of operations, said the state provides more funds for high school students than elementary or middle school students, which contributed to the decrease in the budget.
Less money in the cash fund balance also factored into the decrease in funding.
About $121,000 will be carried over from the current school year. That's in comparison to about $402,000 that was carried over from the 2012-2013 school year to the current school year.