Akron Public Schools is relying on a combination of taxpayer dollars and millions in private donations to operate its I Promise School.

The public school — launched by the district in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation — is costing the district nearly $2.9 million from its general fund to cover the cost of most salaries, benefits, supplies and other base elements of the school.

It is receiving the same level of federal, state and local funds per pupil as all other schools in the district.

Property tax dollars follow students, whether they go to public or charter schools, district officials said. In this case, every child in the I Promise School was already a part of the district, so funding followed them from their old school to their new school.

By 2023, district Treasurer Ryan Pendleton estimates the school will cost the district a cumulative $8.1 million. However, he considers the school a “long-term investment” that will lead to smaller class sizes in other schools in the district, better enrollment and improved report card ratings, among other benefits.

The foundation and its many partners have paid for every extra feature of the school not covered by the district.

About $608,000 has been given by the foundation and its partners for additional teachers, substitutes, tutors, the school’s professional development and illumination period for extracurricular activities.

Another $2.2 million was given by them for building improvements, technology for classrooms, furniture, wiring, additional supports for teachers and staff and the school’s family resource center, which will provide resources for the students’ families.

As the school doubles in size next year — and continues to grow until it includes grades 1-8 in 2022-23 — the foundation said it will continue to fund extra supports as needed.

There also are about 1,100 other students sprinkled throughout the district who are in the I Promise Network, which will phase out once the last cohort has graduated.

The foundation is putting about $2.6 million forward this school year to support the I Promise Network students as well.