Osseo Area Schools has had to make reductions over the past decade to maintain a healthy fiscal forecast. State education funding has not kept up with inflation, nor with increasing educational costs and needs. Inadequate funding is putting increased pressure on the district's operating budget, which funds teachers, classrooms and other operating costs.
Over the decade, the district has reduced expenditures in the general fund. The district has done its best to keep cuts away from the classroom, but that becomes increasingly difficult. While the district typically sees its expenditures increase by approximately 3% per year, state funding formulas have provided increases in revenue ranging from 1.0% to 2.45% over the last decade. With the resulting shortfall, the district's general fund budget has required reductions, adjustments and modifications to remain balanced.
The district works diligently to achieve its operational objectives without significantly impacting direct student classroom instruction by using a number of strategies to balance the district's general fund budget. These budget balancing strategies have included:
- Cost containment: budget reductions, budget cuts and delay of certain expenditures.
- Cost avoidance: energy efficiencies and automating processes.
- Cost shifting: moving certain costs to another fund or dedicated funding source, such as one-time grants.