Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 28, 2017 Operational Sharing: a way to increase revenue for many schools
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

A common strategy to increase general fund revenue that most every school district in the state of Iowa is taking advantage of is called Operational Sharing. Operational sharing has now been available for a little over 10 years, though many districts were slow to get onboard. When I was Superintendent at Southeast Webster-Grand, we started using Operational Sharing in some agreements with the Prairie Valley CSD. At that time, districts could receive an incentive for as many as 40 students. What does that mean?

Operational Sharing incentives provided by the state allow each school district to add students to the enrollment for each position shared. Considering that each student is currently funded at $6,664, this can be a big incentive to a school district. When I moved to the Washington CSD in 2010, the schools I visited with in the area were not using Operational Sharing. I immediately met with the area superintendents and entered into agreements with the WACO CSD and Highland CSD. At that time, the incentive was still 40 students, which meant almost a quarter of a million dollars a year to the school district into the general fund.

A few years ago, the legislature modified the Operational Sharing to certain positions and with a limit of 21 students per district. That still is nearly $140,000 a year of revenue in the general fund. Positions that are eligible for the incentive are defined and a certain number of students are allowed per position up to the 21 student limit. Sharing a Superintendent is worth 8 students ($53,312). Sharing a Maintenance Director, Transportation Director and Human Resource Director are worth 5 students each ($33,320). Guidance Counselors and Curriculum Coordinators are worth 3 students each ($19,992). This legislation is scheduled to sunset, but it is also anticipated that these incentives will be extended.

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