Macon’s newest charter school has received its first infusion of funding from the taxpayers.
A total of $194,228 was wired from the Bibb County school district to Macon Charter Academy’s account on Aug. 7, according to Randy Howard, the system’s in-house attorney.
The $194,228 was calculated in accordance with the state’s education funding formula -- about $6,000 per student, which is based on a verified enrollment count.
That number, as of Aug. 7, was 390 in the Infinite Campus system. That’s the software the school district uses to verify enrollment. However, the charter school reported to the school district in a separate head count that it had 703 students as of Aug. 7, according to documents from the district.
Co-founder Monya Rutland said there’s been a lot of “back and forth” with the district’s enrollment system, adding that there’s been a delay getting records into the system.
“We definitely have the (students) in the seats,” she said.
The $194,228 represents one-twelfth of the 390 students reported in Infinite Campus on Aug. 7.
Why one-twelfth? Because the district itself is also funded once per month, according to Ron Collier, the district’s chief financial officer.
The total amount paid to the charter school will go through adjustments depending on enrollment variations each month, until the first official state count in October. Another adjustment could also be made after the second official count in March.
The new funds should help with MCA’s tight finances as the school’s students prepare for their third week of classes in the Macon Coliseum.
Requests to the charter school -- a public school -- under the Georgia Open Records Act on July 27 and Aug. 4 seeking information regarding the school’s finances and cost of renting the Coliseum have not been filled.
However, the county school district’s recent convocation -- held in the Coliseum arena -- cost a little more than $5,700, according to a district invoice.
In general, the cost of renting the Coliseum is about $4,000 a day, a marketing and sales official said, but that total can vary depending on eligible discounts or food packages purchased.
Rutland said she is still projecting MCA’s cost at about $400 per day.
The charter school has pushed back the date for when it expects students will be in a new building on Madison Street, in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood. Parents were initially told Aug. 3, then Aug. 10, then Aug. 17. On Thursday, parents learned via the school’s Facebook page that the start date there is not slated for Aug. 24.
“Perfection takes time,” Rutland said.
One parent told The Telegraph she’s not sure how much longer she expects her child will be in the Coliseum.
“I don’t really know,” Tamya Hogges said. “I guess it takes time. The school’s coming along pretty well.”
The contract date to turn over the school has always been Aug. 17, according to a construction official. But even after the handoff, the building will need a certificate of occupancy, which will require an inspection of all its systems -- from electrical to plumbing, as well as fire alarms and sprinkler systems -- before students can move in.
Workers also will need to move in equipment, furniture and more.
“I guess they just had a rocky start, but my daughter loves it,” Hogges said.
To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382 or find him on Twitter @davidcschick.