USD 204 receives more than expected 'extraordinary needs' funding

Additional funds for Basehor reduced

November 17, 2015

Bonner Springs-Edwardsville USD 204 now will receive much more than it expected in funding for its increased enrollment.

The district was approved Nov. 9 to receive $164,495 in extraordinary state funding due to an increase in enrollment, more than twice what was expected when the district decided to make a second funding request last month. Dan Brungardt, superintendent, said USD 204 should receive the funding next week.

The two-year block grant finance law froze the level of state operating funds available to schools at 2014-15 levels. Districts could first apply for additional funding in August through the Extraordinary Need State Aid Program under the law.

USD 204 first asked for $55,136 in additional funds, when district enrollment was predicted to increase by 39 students. But it was denied because the estimated increase was less than 2 percent, the benchmark requirement the State Finance Council eventually set for districts to receive funds.

The district’s enrollment increase was actually 77 students after the official state headcount Sept. 20, which was a 2.8 percent growth. So the board decided early last month to make a second, conservative Extraordinary Need funding request of $69,336.

But Brungardt said he was then informed that the state would automatically award funds in November for districts with a 2 percent or greater growth based on the Sept. 20 enrollment numbers.

“So that was good for us,” Brungardt said. “It does help pay for the new teachers we added in the district to cover the additional students, but overall, I’d like the old formula back.”

In October, district staff noted the growth in enrollment would have brought $300,546 in additional funding to the district under the state’s previous school finance formula.

Last week’s decisions weren’t good news for all districts.

Basehor-Linwood USD 458, which had an estimated 4.3 percent enrollment increase of 90 students, requested $358,830 in August and was granted $192,850. However, that was adjusted for the state head count results that showed an increase of 75 students and reduced to $134,640.

Seven districts that did not make requests for funds due to enrollment increases in August had a growth of more than 2 percent and were awarded funds last week. But other districts also received an adjustment after the headcount, most of them getting a reduction in the funding they were awarded in August.

While $2,009,521 in extraordinary need funding for enrollment increases was awarded in August, after the adjustments and even with additional funding for USD 204 and nine others, the total amount of funding awarded for enrollment increases is $1,831,491.

The greatest reduction in funding was for Kansas City, Kansas, USD 500, which was originally awarded $407,548 for an expected enrollment increase of 507 students. When the increase was only 24 students on Sept. 20, USD 500 lost all of its additional funding.

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