Appropriate Program Expenditures

School LAND Trust Program Expenditures – Updated January 2017

Law 53A-16-101.5(6)(a) A council shall create a program to use its allocation…to implement a component of the school’s improvement plan or charter agreement, including: (i) The school’s identified most critical academic needs; (ii) A recommended course of action to meet the identified academic needs; (iii) A specific listing of any programs, practices, materials, or equipment which the school will need to implement a component of its school improvement plan to have a direct impact on the instruction of students and result in measurable increased student performance; and (iv) How the school intends to spend its allocation of funds under this section to enhance or improve academic excellence at the school.

State Board Rule R277-477-4. Appropriate Use of School LAND Trust Program Funds. (1) Parents, teachers, and the principal, in collaboration with an approving entity, shall use School LAND Trust Program funds in data-driven and evidence-based ways to improve educational outcomes. (2) School LAND Trust Program expenditures are required to have a direct impact on the instruction of students in the particular school’s areas of most critical academic need. (3) A school may not use School LAND Trust Program funds for the following: (a) to cover the fixed costs of doing business; (b) for construction, maintenance, facilities, overhead, security, or athletics; or (c) to pay for non-academic in-school, co-curricular, or extracurricular activities. (4) A school district or local school board may not require a council or school to spend the school’s School LAND Trust Program funds on a specific use or set of uses. (5)(a) A council may budget and spend no more than the lesser of the following for in-school civic and character education, including student leadership skills training and positive behavior intervention: (i) $5,000; or (ii) 20% of the school’s annual allocation of School LAND Trust Program funds. (b) A school may designate School LAND Trust Program funds for an in-school civic or character education program or activity only if the plan clearly describes how the program or activity has a direct impact of the instruction of students in school’s areas of most critical academic need. (c) A school may use a portion of the school’s School LAND Trust Program funds to provide digital citizenship training as described in Section 53A-1a-108. (6) Notwithstanding other provisions in this rule, a school may use funds as needed to implement a student’s Individualized Education Plan. (7) Student incentives implemented as part of an academic goal in the School LAND Trust Program may not exceed $2 per awarded student in an academic school year. 2 Process to Qualify for Funds 1. School community council submits plan in writing to the local board 2. Local board may approve or reject plan for any reason. But if the local board rejects plan, must explain why to the council. Local board may not indicate only a certain use will be approved 3. School Children’s Trust Section reviews plans to protect the integrity of the program in conjunction with the law and rule 4. The focus is on ensuring expenditures are narrowly tailored to academics in line with legislative intent 5. Plans with significant concerns will be flagged and discussed with local districts to seek clarification and changes before funds are issued 6. LEAs will continue to have an option to appeal determinations from the SCT section to the State Board of Education Audit Committee

Best Practices

1. Write a specific plan that clearly delineates expenditures

2. Fully implement the plan as approved

3. Make amendments if and when necessary

Examples of expenses that have not been allowed to receive funds in the past (provided by the School Children’s Trust Director for guidance purposes) • Mailing and accreditation costs • Admin, clerical, secretarial, staff bonuses, and technical support costs • Testing and volunteer coordination • Phones, heating/air conditioning costs, gift cards • Playground, sports, and physical education equipment • Furniture, audio visual equipment in non-classroom locations     • Appliances, equipment, servers, copy machines • Non-academic field trips, expenses for council meetings • Uniforms, clothing, team building exercises, counselors

Examples of expenses that have been allowed to receive funds in the past (provided by the School Children’s Trust Director for guidance purposes)  • Student technology, including hardware, software, and access points • College prep, credit recovery, and study skills classes  • Academic field trips, before and after school tutoring • Classroom supplies, equipment, smart boards, computer carts, and materials • Aides, teachers, and tutors • Professional development for teachers directly tied to academic goal, including instructional coaching, faculty meals, per diem, and travel as necessary • Books, magazines, audio visual materials, student planners      • Mini-grants – small amounts set aside in a plan to support a specific academic goal where councils award funds for projects/activities that support that goal. Councils amend plans outlining specific mini-grant expenditures and how they support the goal. Local boards consider mini-grant expenditures for approval before spending funds to implement them.

Printable copy: School LAND Trust Program Expenditures 2.15.17