More on Community Councils

When we discussed Amendment B several weeks ago, I made mention of the School Community Council. There are several alias names such as the Trustlands Committee but the function remains the same. Each year, proceeds from the State Trustlands system allocate proceeds from the state land trust profits to spend on Utah’s students. This allocation has been setup to purposely bypass the school funding mechanism and go directly to the people to be spent as they perceive on the immediate local school student needs.

The local school board is perceived as the populous representative of the local school system but there is an additional elected group to deal specifically with this perpetual fund. Each year parents are asked to participate in the School Community Council. This position, though not fully understood by our patrons, has the sole discretion of how to spend these funds on their local schools. Each School Community Council consists of the principal, school employees, and parents or guardians of students attending the school. Formal elections are held yearly to fill available positions. The School Community Council determines their school’s greatest academic need and prepares a plan to spend the school’s portion of the money distributed from the school land trust program.

Title 53A Chapter 16 Section 101.X of the Utah Code stipulates the composition, election of, per student allocation, the plan, approval, and training. Money from the fund can be spent towards addressing issues identified as critical academic need, increasing student performance, and improve academic excellence. The local school board acts as the adjudicator, approving the plans and monitoring the uses for compliance in meeting critical academic need. Anticipated funding for next year equals $222,937. Elections are held in the spring or fall. When asked to run, help your local school address the issues associated with academic need by joining the local community council.

Tracy Davis