I believe the bond and levy campaign is off to a great start. Please continue to share information with parents and patrons. After people are well informed it is important that we get out and vote. Sometimes elections are won or lost by a few votes. Let's have an excellent turnout on April 4! If any questions arise don't hesitate to contact me.
Due to lagging revenues in the state, Governor Greitens withheld $8.3 million from the state transportation budget in January. Because of that action Fort Osage will receive $96,000 less during this fiscal year. Further, in his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 the Governor outlined additional cuts to transportation which would further impact Fort Osage. Schools once received as much as 75% transportation reimbursement from the state but due to the continued withholdings it has been reduced to approximately 14%. These withholdings significantly impact Fort Osage. Further, state financial experts are saying that the next several years could be extremely rocky for state revenues which will add additional concerns for state funding. Since Fort Osage receives over half of our revenue from the state, it is important that we stay engaged and take every opportunity to communicate with legislators to fully fund education.
The legislative session is in full swing in Jefferson City. Several bills have been introduced that impact education. Below are a few bills that have been filed that we are watching closely.
This bill would provide state tax credits for individuals who apply. The money would be used to create a debit account that could be used for educational choice. This would take up to $25 million in state revenue away from public schools.
The bill would allow the expansion of charter schools in the state. By expanding charter schools it would likely reduce state funding for public schools. In Missouri the existing charter schools receive an Annual Performance Report but they don't receive an accreditation based on that score. Unlike public schools in Missouri there is no certification requirement for teachers and they can limit enrollment. The vote on this bill in committee has been delayed twice but is scheduled to be voted on again on Monday, February 27. I have contacted each legislator on the committee regarding my concern for this bill.
I encourage you to stay engaged on the legislation being discussed and contact legislators when needed.
With spring around the corner it's not too early to begin thinking about gardening. A $20.00 gift card to the Frye's Greenhouse and Country Market located north of Buckner at 2810 Buckner Tarsney Road will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the RNG. For those of you interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Planters' in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 1:00 pm on Monday, February 27.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.