DAR File No. 39840
This rule was published in the November 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 21) of the Utah State Bulletin.
Distributions of Funds from the Interest and Dividends Account and Administration of the School LAND Trust Program
Notice of Proposed Rule
DAR File No.: 39840
Filed: 10/15/2015 03:10:37 PM
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
Rule R277-477 is amended to provide additional language to clarify the timeline and deadlines for a school community council to submit a School LAND Trust plan to an approving entity and revise the expenditure language to make the requirements and guidelines more general.
Summary of the rule or change:
The amended rule requires a School LAND Trust Program approving entity to establish a timeline, including deadlines, for a school's council to submit a School LAND Trust plan to the approving entity. The changes also delete the majority of the current approved/unapproved expenditures list and replace the list with more general guidelines and requirements.
State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
- Subsection 53A-1-401(3)
- Art. X, Sec. 3
- Subsection 53A-16-101.5(4)
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
There is likely no cost or savings to the state budget. The changes to the rule provide clarification to school community councils on timelines and deadlines and simplify expenditure requirements and guidelines to make them more general.
There is likely no cost or savings to local government. The changes to the rule provide clarification to school community councils on timelines and deadlines and simplify expenditure requirements and guidelines to make them more general.
There is likely no cost or savings to small businesses. The changes to the rule provide clarification to school community councils on timelines and deadlines and simplify expenditure requirements and guidelines to make them more general.
persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:
There is likely no cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities. The changes to the rule provide clarification to school community councils on timelines and deadlines and simplify expenditure requirements and guidelines to make them more general.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
There are likely no compliance costs for affected persons. The changes to the rule provide clarification to school community councils on timelines and deadlines and simplify expenditure requirements and guidelines to make them more general.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
To the best of my knowledge, there should be no fiscal impact on businesses resulting from the amendments to this rule.
Brad C. Smith, State Superintendent
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:Education
250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
- Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Angela Stallings, Associate Superintendent, Policy and Communication
R277. Education, Administration.
R277-477. Distributions of Funds from the Interest and Dividends Account and Administration of the School LAND Trust Program.
R277-477-1. Authority and Purpose.
(1) This rule is authorized by:
(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which places general control and supervision of the public school system under the Board;
(b) Subsection 53A-16-101.5(4), which allows the Board to adopt rules regarding the time and manner in which a student count shall be made for allocation of funds; and
(c) Subsection 53A-1-401(3), which allows the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.
(2) The Board is the primary beneficiary representative and advocate for the beneficiaries of the School Trust corpus and the School LAND Trust Program.
(3) The purpose of this rule is to:
(a) provide financial resources to a public school to implement a component of a school's improvement plan or charter document in order to enhance and improve student academic achievement;
(b) provide a means to involve a parent of a school's student in decision-making regarding the expenditure of School LAND Trust Program funds allocated to the school;
(c) provide direction in the distribution of funds from the Interest and Dividends Account, as funded in Subsection 53A-16-101.5(3);
(d) provide for appropriate and adequate oversight of the expenditure and use of funds by a designated local board of education, an approving entity, and the Board;
(e) provide for proper allocation of funds as stated in Subsections 53A-16-101.5(3) and (4), and the appropriate and timely distribution of the funds;
(f) enforce compliance with statutory and rule requirements, including the responsibility for a school community council to notify school community members regarding the use of funds; and
(g) define the roles, duties, and responsibilities of the School Children's Trust Director within the USOE.
(1) "Approving entity" means an LEA governing board, university, or other legally authorized entity that may approve or reject a plan for a district or charter school.
(2)(a) "Charter trust land council" means a council comprised of a two person majority of elected parents of students attending the charter school convened to act in lieu of the school community council for the charter school.
(b) "Charter trust land council" includes a charter school governing board if:
(i) the council meets the two-parent majority requirement; and
(ii) the charter school governing board chooses to serve as the charter trust land council.
(3) "Council" means a school community council or a charter trust land council.
(4) "Digital citizenship" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53A-1a-108.
(5) "Fall enrollment report" means the audited census of students registered in Utah public schools as reported in the audited October 1 Fall Enrollment Report of the previous year.
(6) "Funds" means interest and dividends income as defined in Subsection 53A-16-101.5(3).
(7) "Interest and Dividends Account" means the restricted account within the Uniform School Fund created under Subsection 53A-16-101(2).
(8) "Most critical academic need" means an academic need identified in a school's improvement plan or school's charter.
(9)(a) "Principal" means an administrator licensed as a principal in the state and employed in that capacity at a school.
(b) "Principal" includes the director of a charter school.
(10) "School Children's Trust Director" means the Director appointed by the Board under Section 53A-16-101.6.
(11) "Student" means a child in public school grades kindergarten through 12 counted on the fall enrollment report of a school district, charter school, or USDB.
R277-477-3. Distribution of Funds - Local Board or Local Charter Board Approval of School LAND Trust Plans.
(1) A public school receiving School LAND Trust Program funds shall have:
(a) a school community council as required by Section 53A-1a-108 and Rule R277-491;
(b) a charter school trust land council as required by Subsection 53A-16-101.5(9); or
(c) an approved exemption under this rule.
(2) A public school receiving School LAND Trust Program funds shall submit a principal assurance form, as described in Section R277-491-5 and Subsection 53A-16-101.5(5)(c), prior to the public school receiving a distribution of School LAND Trust Program funds.
(3) A charter school that elects to receive School LAND Trust funds shall:
(a) have a charter trust land council;
(b) be subject to Section 53A-1a-108.1 if the charter trust land council is not a charter school governing board; and
(c) receive training about Section 53A-1a-108.1.
(4) A charter school that is a small or special school may receive an exemption from the charter land trust council composition requirements contained in Subsection 53A-16-101.5(9) upon application to the Board if the small or special school demonstrates and documents a good faith effort to recruit members to the charter trust land council.
(5) The principal of a charter school that elects to receive School LAND Trust funds shall submit a plan to the School Children's Trust Section on the School LAND Trust website:
(a) no later than April 1; or
(b) for a newly opening charter school, no later than November 1 in the school's first year in order to receive funding in the year the newly opening charter school opens.
(6)(a) An approving entity:
(i) shall consider a plan annually; and
(ii) may approve or disapprove a school plan.
(b) If an approving entity does not approve a plan, the approving entity shall:
(i) provide a written explanation why the approving entity did not approve the plan; and
(ii) request that the school revise the plan, consistent with Section 53A-16-101.5.
(7)(a) To receive funds, the principal of a public school shall submit a School LAND Trust plan to the School Children's Trust Section annually through the School LAND Trust website using the form provided.
(b) The Board may grant an exemption from a school using the USOE-provided form, described in Subsection (7)(a), on a case-by-case basis.
(8) In addition to the requirements of Subsection (6), the School LAND Trust plan described in Subsection (7)(a) shall include the date the council voted to approve the plan.
(9)(a) A council member shall have the opportunity to provide a digital signature indicating the member's involvement in implementing the current School LAND Trust plan and developing the school plan for the upcoming year.
(b) Entering the council member's name and email address into the Council Membership and Signature Form page on the School LAND Trust website and using that system to collect the digital signature shall suffice to meet the requirements of this Subsection (9).
(c) An LEA or district school, upon the permission of the LEA's governing board, may design the LEA or district school's own form to collect the information required by this Subsection (9).
(10)(a) An LEA governing board shall establish a timeline,
including a deadline, for a school to submit the school's
School LAND Trust plan. (b) The deadline described in Subsection (10)(a) may be
no later than May 1 of each year. (c) Timelines set by an LEA governing board shall allow for
council reconsideration and amendment of the School LAND Trust plan
if the local board of education rejects a plan.]
12])(a) Prior to approving a plan, an approving entity shall
review a School LAND Trust plan under the approving entity's
purview to confirm that a School LAND Trust plan contains:
(i) academic goals;
(ii) specific steps to meet the academic goals described in Subsection (12)(a)(i);
(iii) measurements to assess improvement; and
(iv) specific expenditures focused on student academic improvement.
(b)(i) The Superintendent shall review a School LAND Trust
plan for compliance with statute and rule.]
ii]) The approving entity shall determine whether a School
LAND Trust plan is consistent with the approving entity's
pedagogy, programs, and curriculum.
(c) Prior to approving a School LAND Trust plan, the president or chair of the approving entity shall provide training annually on the requirements of Section 53A-16-101.5 to the members of the approving entity.
11]) [ The USOE shall only distribute funds to a school with an
approved School LAND Trust plan and that meets all other
R277-477-4. Appropriate Use of School LAND Trust Program Funds.
(1) Acceptable uses of School LAND Trust Program funds
include the following: (a) a credit recovery course or program; (b) a study skills class; (c) a college entrance exam preparation class; (d) an academic field trip; (e) classroom equipment or materials, including
flashcards, math manipulatives, a calculator, microscope, map, or
book; (f) a teacher, teacher aide, tutor, or other personnel if
an employee paid out of School LAND Trust funds spends at least
75% of the employee's time interacting with, instructing, or
preparing to instruct a student in an approved academic
area; (g) professional development directly tied to a
school's academic goals, including a faculty meal, per diem,
and travel required as a part of a professional development
program; (h) student focused educational technology, including
hardware and software, a computer cart, work station, projector,
and smart board. (i) a book, textbook, workbook, library book, bookcase,
magazine, and audio-visual material; (j) a student planner; and (k) a nominal student incentive that is academic in
nature or of nominal total cost. (2) Expenditures ineligible for School LAND Trust Program
funding include the following: (a) security costs; (b) phone, cell phone, electric, HVAC, or other
utility; (c) a facility, building, or maintenance costs; (d) sports and playground equipment; (e) an athletic or intramural program; (f) an extra-curricular non-academic
expenditure; (g) an audio-visual system in a non-classroom
location; (h) a non-academic field trip; (i) an expense for a council meeting, parent night,
orientation, training, or similar meeting or event; (j) mailing costs; (k) accreditation costs; (l) administrative, clerical, or secretarial costs,
technical support, or maintenance, including for repair of an
item not purchased with School LAND Trust funds; (m) cash or cash equivalent incentives, including a gift
card of any type regardless of the recipient; (n) furniture; (o) a staff bonus; and (p) a similar non-instructional item or program. (3)(a) A School LAND Trust plan may budget and spend no
more than the lesser of $5,000 or 20% of the school's annual
allocation of funds for in-school civic and character education,
including student leadership skills training and positive
behavior intervention. (i) A school may designate funds for an in-school civic
and character education program or activity if the plan clearly
describes how the program or activity will directly affect
student academic achievement. (ii) A school may use funds to provide digital
citizenship training as described in Section 53A-1a-108. (b) Notwithstanding other provisions in this rule, a school
may use funds as needed to implement students'
R277-477-5. Distribution of Funds - Determination of Proportionate Share.
(1) A local school board shall report the prior year expenditure of distributions for each school and adjust the current year distribution of funds received from the School LAND Trust Program as described in Section 53A-16-101.5, as necessary to maintain an equal per student distribution within a school district based on school openings and closings, boundary changes, and other enrollment changes occurring after the fall enrollment report.
(2)(a) For purposes of this Subsection (2) and Subsection (3), "qualifying charter school" means a charter school that:
(i) would receive more funds from a per pupil distribution than the charter school receives from the base payment described in Subsection (2)(c); and
(ii) is not a newly opening charter school as described in Subsection (3).
(b) The Superintendent shall distribute the funds allocated to charter schools as described in this Subsection (2).
(c) The Superintendent shall first distribute a base payment to each charter school that is equal to the product of:
(i) an amount equal to the total funds available for all charter schools; and
(ii) at least 0.4%.
(d) After the Superintendent distributes the amount described in Subsection (2)(c), the Superintendent shall distribute the remaining funds to qualifying charter schools on a per pupil basis.
(3)(a) The Superintendent shall distribute an amount of funds to a newly opening charter school that is equal to the greater of:
(i) the base payment described in Subsection (2)(c); or
(ii) a per pupil amount based on the newly opened charter school's projected October 1 enrollment count.
(b) The Superintendent shall increase or decrease a newly opening charter school's first year distribution of funds in the school's second year to reflect the newly opening charter school's actual first year October 1 enrollment.
(4) If a school chooses not to apply for funds or does not meet the requirements for receiving funds, the USOE shall retain the funds allocated for that school and include those funds in the statewide distribution for the following school year.
R277-477-6. School LAND Trust Program - Implementation of Plans and Required Reporting.
(1) A school shall implement a plan as approved.
(2)(a) The principal shall submit a plan amendment authorized by Subsection 53A-16-101.5(6)(d)(iii) through the School LAND Trust website for approval, including the date the council approved the amendment and the number of votes for, against, and absent.
(b) The approving entity shall:
(i) consider the amendment for approval; and
(ii) approve an amendment before the school uses funds according to the amendment.
(c) The School Children's Trust Section shall review an amendment for compliance with statute and rule before the school uses funds according to the amendment.
(3)(a) A school shall provide an explanation for any carryover that exceeds one-tenth of the school's allocation in a given year in the School LAND Trust Plan or final report.
(b) The USOE shall consider a district or school with a consistently large carryover balance over multiple years as not making adequate and appropriate progress on an approved plan.
(c) The Board may take corrective action to remedy excessive carryover balances as outlined in Section R277-477-9.
(4) By approving a plan on the School LAND Trust website, the approving entity affirms that:
(a) the entity has reviewed the plan; and
(b) the plan meets the requirements of statute and rule.
(5)(a) A district or charter school business official shall enter prior year audited expenditures by specific category on the School LAND Trust website on or before October 1.
(b) The expenditure data shall appear in the final report submitted online by a principal, as required by Section 53A-16-101.5.
(6) A principal shall submit a final report on the School LAND Trust website by October 20 annually.
R277-477-7. School LAND Trust Program - School Children's Trust Section to Review Compliance.
(1)(a) The School Children's Trust Section shall review each school's final report for consistency with the approved school plan.
(b) The School Children's Trust Section shall create a list of all schools whose final reports indicate that funds from the School LAND Trust Program were expended inconsistent with the statute, rule, or the school's approved plan.
(c) The School Children's Trust Section shall annually report a school described in Subsection (1)(b) to the school district contact person, district superintendent, and president of the local board of education or charter board, as applicable.
(2) The School Children's Trust Section may visit a school receiving funds from the School LAND Trust Program to discuss the program, receive information and suggestions, provide training, and answer questions.
(3)(a) The School Children's Trust Director shall supervise annual compliance reviews to review expenditure of funds consistent with the approved plan, allowable expenses, and the law.
(b) The School Children's Trust Director shall report annually to the Board Audit Committee on compliance review findings and other compliance issues.
(c) After receiving the report described in Subsection (3)(b) and any other relevant information requested by the committee, the Board Audit Committee may make a determination regarding questioned expenditures and corrective action as outlined in Section R277-477-9.
R277-477-8. School Children's Trust Director - Other Provisions.
(1)(a) The School Children's Trust Director is an employee of the Board, pursuant to Section 53A-16-101.6 and Board bylaws.
(b) The School Children's Trust Director shall report to the Board Audit Committee monthly.
(c) The School Children's Trust Director shall report day-to-day to the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee.
(2)(a) The School Children's Trust Director shall submit a draft section budget to the Board Audit Committee annually, consistent with Subsection 53A-16-101.6(5)(a).
(b) The School Children's Trust Director shall include in the draft budget a proposed School LAND Trust Program and training schedule, as described in Subsection 53A-16-101.6(13).
(3) In addition to the duties established in Section 53A-16-101.6, the School Children's Trust Director shall:
(a) assist the Board as needed as its designee in fulfilling its duties as primary beneficiary representative for school trust lands and funds;
(b) provide independent oversight of an agency managing school trust lands and the permanent State School Fund to ensure the trust assets are managed prudently, profitably, and in the best interest of the beneficiaries;
(c) review and approve a charter school plan on behalf of the State Charter School Board;
(d) provide notice as necessary to the State Charter School Board of changes required of charter schools for compliance with state statute and rule;
(e) review and approve a plan submitted by the USDB governing board as necessary; and
(f) carry out the policy direction of the Board under law and faithfully adhere to the Board-approved budget.
(4) The employees of the School Children's Trust Section report to the School Children's Trust Director.
R277-477-9. Failure to Comply with Rule.
(1) If a local school board, school district, district or charter school, or council fails to comply with the provisions of this rule, the School Children's Trust Director may report the failure to the Audit Committee of the Board.
(2) If the Audit Committee of the Board finds that any local school board, school district, district or charter school, or council failed to comply with statute or rule, the Audit Committee may recommend that the Board take any or all of the following actions:
(a) in cooperation with the local school board or charter school governing board, develop a corrective action plan for the school district, district or charter school, or council;
(b) require the school to reimburse the School LAND Trust Program for any inappropriate expenditures;
(c) reduce, eliminate, or withhold future funding; or
(d) any other necessary and appropriate corrective action.
(3) The Board may, by majority vote, take any of the actions outlined in Subsection (2) to correct or remedy a violation of statute or rule by a local school board, school district, district or charter school, or council.
KEY: schools, trust lands funds
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2015
Notice of Continuation: August 13, 2015
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X, Sec 3; 53A-16-101.5(3)(c); 53A-1-401(3)
More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.