Legislative Platform and Delegation
Ensuring equitable student achievement and promoting safety through stable and predictable funding
Osseo Area Schools is committed to eliminating racial disparities in academic achievement and other aspects of school life in order to unleash the brilliance of each of our scholars. The following priorities have been identified to secure the necessary funds to achieve this critical goal.
Stable, predictable funding and broadband access
- Link the basic formula and local optional revenue to inflation to provide a stable and consistent funding stream, so Osseo Area Schools can ensure long-range planning to achieve the district's strategic priorities.
- Provide funding to support the mental health needs of students and staff.
- Use School Year 2019-20 free/reduced meal application data when determining compensatory revenue for School Year 2022-23 and allow additional methods to determine eligibility for free/reduced lunch.
- Reform special education financing by increasing funding to 100% of the state’s statutory obligation.
- For Osseo Area Schools, the special education funding shortfall is $25.4 million. Source: MDE FY2020 Spec. Ed. Cross Subsidies Final Report.
- Increase funding to better meet the needs of English Learners, the student group with the largest achievement gap in Osseo Area Schools.
- Funding from the previous legislative session only covered $10 Million over a four-year period.
- For Osseo Area Schools, the English Learner funding shortfall is $8.6 million. Source: MDE, FY2021.
Safe and supportive learning environments
Expand the allowable uses of long-term facility maintenance funding to include the modification of buildings to enhance safety and security.
Increasing Safe Schools revenue to provide necessary mental health supports for students and staff.
Support achievement gap closure through recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce
Continue to expand programs and incentives to attract, develop and retain teachers of color.
Remove barriers and provide incentives to address the shortage of substitute teachers, school bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and other staff.
- Oppose any new unfunded mandates, and allow Osseo Area Schools to:
- Post minutes and budget information on the district website rather than be published in a newspaper.
- Revise current open meeting law to allow for the use of online interactive digital meetings.
- Maintain local control of curriculum decisions and implementation.
These platform items align with those of several statewide education organizations, including Association of Metropolitan School Districts, Minnesota School Boards Association, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, Minnesota Association of School Business Officials.