Fort Osage has had a tremendous year for students and staff in a variety of areas. From academic achievements, to successes in sports and activities, to awards won by staff members, I am proud of the many accomplishments in our District. Thank you for your efforts in helping Fort have an outstanding year!
The following information was discussed with Team Fort Osage at the May 20 meeting regarding the budget:
-The 2017 levy passage allowed Fort Osage to have a balanced budget the past two years. Previously it had been ten years since Fort Osage operated on a balanced budget.
-Maintaining a balanced budget is a priority of the Board of Education.
-Due to Fort's low assessed valuation, the District relies heavily on the state for funding.
-State revenues are lower than projected so we continue to closely monitor state funding.
The following information was discussed with Team Fort Osage regarding salaries for the 2019-2020 school year:
-I will recommend to the Board in June that certificated staff on the salary schedule will receive steps and movement.
-I will recommend to the Board in June that $200 be added to each cell of the certificated salary schedule.
-I will recommend to the Board that classified staff on the salary schedule receive steps.
-Further, per the classified salary study performed last year, I will recommend to the Board in June that the employees who are still "below market" will receive an extra step.
-I will recommend to the Board that $.01 be added to cell A1 of the classified salary schedule. Because the scale is indexed, this will lead to increased amounts through the schedule.
The following information was discussed with Team Fort Osage regarding health insurance:
-Providing quality health insurance continues to be a priority for the District.
-The District is currently in its second year with Humana. The current plan runs until December 31, 2019.
-The District will begin receiving bids this summer for the January 1, 2020 renewal. Humana as well as other health insurance providers who elect to submit a bid will have the opportunity to do so.
-The District's claims have increased over the past year and are currently at a 106% claims loss ratio. This is a much higher claims rate than in previous years, and will likely lead to higher than usual increases in rates for the District.
-Fort Osage’s current Go365 participation will lower the Humana rate increase by 5%. Continued participation in Go365 may help to further decrease the insurance cost.
-According to our insurance broker, CBIZ, our current insurance plans are among the best in the metro. Fort Osage contributes more money to HSA accounts than most other districts at $142.68 and $81.58 for our two high deductible plans. Some area Districts contribute $0 to employee HSA accounts.
-Once bids are received, decisions will be made regarding the provider, the plans offered to staff, and the District’s contribution. The District has currently budgeted $581.30 as the monthly contribution for 2019-2020, which is the same as the 2018-19 amount. Team Fort Osage will provide additional feedback regarding insurance at our next meeting scheduled for August.
The Every Minute Matters initiative culminated with a District wide assembly for students who were enrolled all year and maintained at least 95% attendance. Nearly 2,300 students participated in the celebration at the District stadium on May 23. While we are proud of these students, overall attendance across the District continues to be an area of focus. Every Minute Matters will continue for the 2019-20 school year.
The Missouri legislative session ended on May 17 with nearly 2,500 bills and resolutions filed and fewer than fifty bills making it to the Governor’s desk for signature. A few of the educational bills worth mentioning are listed below. As noted some passed and some failed.
HB 604 (passed)- School districts cannot start school earlier than 14 days before the first Monday in September. If signed by the Governor this would begin during the 2020-2021 school year. Since the 2020-2021 calendar has already been approved by the Board, we will need to adjust our start date. We will work with Team Fort in the fall to make this change and resubmit it to the Board.
SB 292 (failed)- Would have allowed charter schools to open in cities other than Kansas City and St. Louis.
HB 581 (failed)- Charter school expansion bill to cities of 30,000 or more.
SB 160 (failed)- Would have established a scholarship program to help parents finance their child’s elementary and high school education at a school of their choice.
For those of you interested, 4 Royals tickets will be given away to the Sunday, July 28th Royals game vs. Cleveland. There will be two winners drawn with each person winning two tickets each. To enter please send an email to email@example.com with "Royals" in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 am on Monday, June 3rd.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.