From Dr. Jason Dandoy, Superintendent of Schools, and Theresa Tillery, Board of Education President.
The below message from Dr. Jason Dandoy, Superintendent of Schools, and Theresa Tillery, Board of Education President, was published in the fall edition of ourTurner Today magazine:
Fall is an inspiring time of year in USD 202. We’re proud to highlight some of the activities and programs taking place in our schools in this edition of Turner Today.
In this letter, we’d like to provide an overview of the various funds that our district utilizes to pay for programs, buildings, and staff who support and work with our students. Each summer, we go through a budget planning process that includes our district Strategic Plan, an assessment of student needs, and a facility improvement analysis. District leadership and the Board of Education work together to ensure that our financial priorities support our students while balancing with state, local, and federal revenues. To help the community understand the budget process, we have included some information below to explain how schools are funded and the relationship between various funding sources.
School districts in Kansas receive their operating funds based on student enrollment and “weightings,” which are additional funds for students who meet certain criteria, such as those who participate in a vocational program, qualify for the free lunch program, or speak a primary language other than English. The General Fund and Supplemental General Fund are used to cover operational expenses such as instructional materials, staff salaries, insurance, and utilities.
Kansas Statute requires each school district to levy 20 mills for general operating funds. There is not an option for a school district to lower or increase the general fund tax rate. This year, the amount of taxes to be levied locally by USD 202 for the General Fund is $3,838,152. The total budget for the General Fund is $33,379,249, with 89% of the funding being paid for by the State.
Supplemental General Fund
The Supplemental General Fund, also known as the “Local Option Budget,” is based on the total amount of the General Fund, multiplied by a percentage. State statute limits this to 33% of the General Fund and Turner USD 202 has set our Supplemental General Fund budget below that, at 31%. This year, the amount of taxes to be levied locally by USD 202 for the Supplemental General Fund is $2,989,090. The total budget for the Supplemental General Fund is $10,430,113. In this fund, 69% of funding comes from State Equalization Aid.
The Capital Outlay mill levy of 8 mills was authorized by a resolution approved by the local Board of Education in 2014. Expenditures from this fund are used for facility maintenance, annual improvements, and technology purchases. This year, USD 202 will raise $2,046,835 in local taxes and receive $1,432,785 in State Aid. For each dollar that is raised locally in USD 202 for the Capital Outlay Fund, the district will receive an additional $0.70 from the state.
Bond & Interest
The Bond and Interest mill levy was approved by a majority of voters for new construction and renovations to existing facilities. The mill levy is based upon the total payments that will be made by the district during the calendar year. As promised during the 2019 Bond campaign, the tax rate in this fund has not increased and will not unless a future project is proposed. In fact, the district lowered the tax rate in this fund to 13 mills for the upcoming budget cycle.
We hope that this summary is beneficial to your understanding of public school finance. If you have questions about the funds or ways in which they are used, please feel free to reach out to one of us or our Director of Business Services at 913-288-4185. Thank you for supporting our Turner students and we wish you a wonderful fall season.