Legislative Platform and Delegation
Ensuring equitable student achievement and promoting safety through stable and predictable fundingOsseo 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.
- Mitigate the financial impact on schools because of COVID-19 by:
- Allowing school districts to use October 1, 2019 pupil counts to determine the district’s general aid funding for FY21.
- Using FY20 Free/Reduced Meal application data when determining compensatory revenue for FY22.
- Providing funds to support the pandemic-related free child care for Tier 1 employees required by multiple executive orders.
- Increasing Safe Schools revenue to provide necessary mental health supports for students and staff. The need for mental health supports and services has been a priority for Osseo Area Schools in previous legislative sessions. This need has been intensified by the global pandemic.
Stable, predictable funding and broadband access
- Provide stable, predictable funding through annual basic formula increases that consider the rate of inflation, so Osseo Area Schools can ensure long-range planning to achieve the district's strategic priorities.
- Support efforts to ensure families have access to reliable internet.
- 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 $24.6 million. Source: MDE FY2019 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.
- For Osseo Area Schools, the English Learner funding shortfall is $6.9 million. Source: MDE Report, May 17, 2019.
Safe and secure facilities
- Expand the allowable uses of long-term facility maintenance funding to include the modification of buildings to enhance safety and security.
Support achievement gap closure through recruitment and retention of teachers of color
- Support the "Increase Teachers of Color Act" and all other legislative efforts that help school districts recruit and retain teachers of color.
- Reduce special education paperwork requirements to ensure teachers have more time with students.
- Oppose any new mandates that do not include a permanent funding source.
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.
Approved by the ISD 279 School Board for the 2021 Legislative Session