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ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools

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Legislative Platform

Ensuring equitable student achievement and safety through stable and predictable fundingOsseo Area Schools is committed to eliminating racial disparities in academic achievement and other aspects of school life. The following priorities have been identified to secure the necessary funds to achieve this critical goal.

Stable, predictable funding

  • 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.
  • Create flexibility in the allowable use of compensatory funds so districts can more directly target students' learning needs.
  • Reform special education financing by increasing funding to 100% of the state’s statutory obligation.
    • For Osseo Area Schools, the state and federal special education funding shortfall is $22.8 million. Source: MDE FY2018 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.

Student social and emotional support

  • Increase Safe Schools revenue (the current funding mechanism) to provide essential programming, services and direct staff support for students' social and emotional well-being.
  • Provide stable funding for school-linked mental health services.

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 mandates

  • 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 2020 Legislative Session