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ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools

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Why are these two questions being presented to voters?

The current voter-approved levies—operating and capital projects for technology—are set to expire soon. They make up about 15% of the district's financial resources.  

It’s been almost ten years since the community has been asked to reinvest in district schools. Educational needs have significantly grown over this time. The state’s financial contributions, which are about 70% of the district’s budget, have not kept pace with inflation or increasing needs for more than two decades. If state education funding has simply kept pace with inflation, Osseo Area Schools would receive $15 million more next year alone.

It took several months of discussion and review to arrive here. Two community-based groups were part of those efforts, including the Financial Involvement School-Community Accountability Liaisons (FISCAL) and District Technology Advisory Committee (DTAC).

This referendum election is also part of the bold future outlined in the new strategic plan. Osseo Area Schools is committed to giving scholars and families the educational experience they desire and deserve. To do that, the district must foster an environment where it can unleash and enhance the brilliance of each and every one of its scholars to thrive and succeed. 

building a better future vote

If approved by voters, the district would be able to maintain its class sizes. A scientifically-valid community survey this past January revealed that the majority of parents and caregivers would prefer to focus on programming and other individualized learning options when they learned how much a change would cost. To lower class sizes by just one student across all grade levels, approximately $5.2 million a year would be needed.

Learn More about Is the district lowering class sizes as part of this plan?

Requests an increase in the district’s operating levy, which pays for day-to-day learning and instructional needs. If approved by voters, it would provide an additional $7 million annually for the district to continue and expand individualized learning, academic interventions, student mental health needs and other critical classroom supports.

Learn More about What does Question 1 ask voters?

Requests an increase in the district’s capital project levy for technology. This pays for classroom learning technology, infrastructure systems and needed support staff. If approved by voters, it would provide an additional $2.3 million annually for the district to additionally prioritize school safety and security technology, tools and systems for all scholars and digital learning spaces throughout schools.

Learn More about What does Question 2 ask voters?

Social-emotional supports help scholars learn to get along with others, which is critical to success in school, life and work. Scholars then effectively apply their knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research shows that the presence of social-emotional supports enhances academic performance and reduces classroom disruptions.

Learn More about What exactly are scholar mental health needs?