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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Banning Lewis Ranch Academy receives $150,000 in extra funding

The Colorado Department of Education awarded a start-up grant to Banning Lewis Ranch Academy for the 2008-2009 school year. The initial grant, awarded in two installments of $150,000, was supplemented by an additional $149,500, bringing the total funds received to $449,500. The additional funding came from the CDE in unspent grant monies for 2007-2008.Eric Dinnel, BLRA chief administrative officer – the academy’s equivalent of a principal – said the grant has made many improvements possible. The BLRA improvements included 15 smart boards and projectors, 40 student computers, two mobile computer labs comprised of 20 computers each, a K-8 Spanish curriculum and library books.Dinnel said the school also is expanding its programs to include a wide variety of after-school activities such as cooking, dance, choir, band, National Honors Society, tutoring and middle school athletics.”We received a lot more than we anticipated,” he said. “We were able to put money into every program at the school, providing additional opportunities for BLRA students to enjoy learning and increase achievement,” Dinnel said.Like regular public schools, BLRA receives funding through the state, said Lane Gibson, Falcon School District 49 chief financial officer. The largest source of funds for the charter school is the Per Pupil Operating Revenue, set this year at $6,550.90 per student. The funds are transmitted through D 49, which withholds a 1.5 percent administrative fee. In addition to PPOR, Gibson said the BLRA and other charter schools have access to other state and federal dollars.”[Charter schools] can’t go out for a bond, but they have access to grants that we [D 49] can’t,” Gibson said.”We do not receive mill levy funds. Think of us as an independently run public school,” Dinnel said. “We pay our own utilities, building maintenance, benefit packages and have our own school board.”

District 49 Funding Source 2008-2009Amount
Specific Ownership Tax (vehicle registrations$1,639,369.21
Property Taxes$16,263,505.33
State Equalization Funds$66,431,446.76
Projected Funding Total$84,334,321.33

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