In the 1990’s the Kansas Legislature passed KSA 72-8238, which grants school districts the ability to establish operate and maintain; fees, collection, limitations, disposition; fund extraordinary school programs.
USD 231 established such a fund in 2017-18 as the Gardner Edgerton Youth and Community Programs department, and the district has began offering youth sports and recreational programs that it anticipates will be self-funded with a breakeven point of about $250,000.
During the first fiscal year, the district transferred $204,000 from the general fund — supported by taxpayer mill levies – to pay for the GEYCP’s loss. Start up costs of $10,000 had already been utilized.
The extraordinary school fund is designed to be self-supporting. With just under 2,500 participants, and a loss of $214,000, USD 231 is losing about $87 per participant; which is being subsidized by taxpayer funds.
It is a local board decision whether to continue subsidizing GEYCP with tax funds, according to KSDE officials.
Traditionally tax funds are used for teachers, students and classroom supplies, along with overhead costs.
According to state statute, fees for providing an extraordinary school program for pupils shall be prescribed and collected only to recover the cost incurred as a result of and directly attributable to the establishment, operation and maintenance of the program.
All moneys received by a district from fees collected under this section or from any other source for extraordinary school programs shall be credited to the extraordinary school program fund.
The expenses of a district directly attributable to extraordinary school programs shall be paid from the extraordinary school program fund, statute says.
According to statute, the term “extraordinary school program” means a program which is established by the board of education of a school district, operated before or after regular school hours during the regular school term, and maintained for any or all of the following purposes:
(1) Providing pupils with additional time to achieve learner exit or improvement plan outcomes;
(2) giving pupils remedial instruction or independent study assistance; (3) affording pupils an opportunity to strengthen or attain mastery of basic or higher order thinking skills; and
(4) conducting special projects and activities designed to enrich and enhance the educational experience of pupils.