As superintendent I can't think of a better remedy for a challenging day than to visit buildings. The things being accomplished by the students and staff at Fort Osage is impressive and encouraging. Your hard work, determination and general care for students does not go unnoticed. Thank you for everything you do! You are all superheroes in my book!
The Fort Osage Career and Technology Center has been recognized by the Independence Examiner as the 'Best Trade and Technical School' in Eastern Jackson County. Entrants were nominated and voted on by readers with over 25,000 votes cast. Serving students from Fort Osage, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Grain Valley, and Oak Grove the CTC does a tremendous job educating students.
Congratulations to Josh Malecki, Fort Osage High School teacher and scholar bowl team coach, who was named the 2015-2016 Missouri Class 4 Coach of the Year. Josh received this honor from the Missouri Academic Coaches Association.
The overall concept of balancing a budget is simple. Revenues must match expenditures. When expenditures outweigh revenues you must attempt to find ways to balance the budget. There are two ways to balance a budget. First, you can reduce expenditures or second, you can increase revenues. Ongoing state withholdings and a reduction in local assessed valuations since 2008 have made balancing the budget extremely challenging. As a result Fort Osage fund reserves have gone from 31% in 2012 to 21% in 2016.
Due to state withholdings and lower local assessed valuations on the revenue side, Fort Osage has made significant reductions in expenditures over the past six years in an attempt to the balance the budget. Reductions to supply budgets, transportation, and certified and classified staff are a few examples of where cuts have been made.
As seen in the chart below, Fort Osage receives over 51% of its revenue from the state. This is the highest percentage of any other area district. Therefore, each time the state doesn't fully fund education Fort Osage is significantly impacted. Fort Osage receives approximately 39% of its revenue from local funding, which is the lowest in the area. Local funding is derived from taxes collected from property owners based on the assessed valuation of their property.
In addition to a low assessed valuation, Fort Osage also has the lowest operating levy in the area. As a result we are at a significant disadvantage in generating local revenue to support our schools compared to other area districts.
District % Local % State Assessed Valuation * Operating Levy**
Fort Osage 39.38 51.39 $268,520,968 $4.55
Grain Valley 45.03 51.24 $272,101,149 $4.65
ISD 41.8 46.73 $939,919,288 $4.67
Park Hill 71.85 24.05 $1,439,717,564 $5.00
Blue Springs 56.63 36.47 $1,296,100,387 $5.13
Raytown 48.23 42.5 $613,016,072 $5.15
Belton 44.07 46.37 $303,541,512 $5.16
North KC 64.6 28.81 $2,009,984,252 $5.22
Liberty 54.32 42.57 $715,805,565 $5.35
Lee’s Summit 61.43 34.04 $1,771,219,825 $6.05
*Assessed Valuation from 2015-2016 school year.
**Highest Voter Approved Operating Levy
As mentioned in a prior blog post, Fort Osage can't continue to spend down our fund balance as we have the past few years. Since 2012 the fund balance has been reduced by nearly $4,000,000. This level of deficit spending cannot continue indefinitely. Knowing that Fort Osage has continued to make budget reductions there have been ongoing conversations regarding an increased operating levy for the future. As mentioned above an increased operating levy would help generate additional revenue. I will continue to update you regarding the budget in future posts and provide more insight into a possible levy which may be on the ballot as early as April 2017.
If you enjoy movies here's your chance. A $20.00 gift card to AMC will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the RNG. For those interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'AMC' in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 10:00 am on Wednesday, November 2.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.