Team Fort Osage met for the third time this year on February 19. It was a productive meeting with good feedback provided by the committee. There was discussion about the budget, health insurance, school calendar, second semester learning and the April 6 bond and levy issues (information provided below on each). The next Team Fort Osage meeting is scheduled for April 9.
Current Fiscal Year Budget (Ending June 30, 2021)
Fort Osage's biggest revenue source is state funding. Despite the fact that state revenues are running far ahead of this time last year, the state has withheld funding from schools. The District has had some additional expenditures due to COVID-19 (PPE, staffing, hot spots, etc.), however, there are some line items that have had fewer expenditures (travel, professional development, etc.). All told, with the addition of CARES money, Fort Osage is currently running a balanced budget.
Next Fiscal Year Budget (Beginning July 1, 2021)
There are three major factors that will impact Fort Osage’s operating revenue for next year. These factors include state funding, the Jackson County assessment and the levy transfer found on the upcoming ballot. We are monitoring the state budget and the allocation to public schools as the state legislators are statutorily required to pass the budget by May 8. Separately, Jackson County is in the process of assessing properties which will impact Fort's local funding. Last, the no tax increase levy transfer (Question 2) on the April 6 ballot would provide additional operating money with its passage. All three of these factors play a significant role in Fort Osage’s budget next year and will not be determined until later this spring.
As always, we will continue to monitor things closely. The budget will be presented to the Board for their approval at the June meeting.
On January 1, 2021, Fort Osage joined the SipGKC consortium with Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Smithville School Districts.
The last day of school is currently Tuesday, June 1. The next three days missed due to inclement weather would be added to the end of the calendar (I hope we don’t have any more snow days). Summer school will end on June 30, 2021, regardless of any additional days missed by reducing the number of summer school days offered. Currently the first day of summer school is scheduled to begin on June 2.
We briefly discussed the calendar and plan to submit it to the Board for approval this spring.
Second Semester Learning
I’m proud of the hard work the staff has demonstrated by implementing safety protocols for the entire school year. We are encouraged by the decrease in active cases and the increase in sub fill rates at Fort Osage. The transition of hybrid students back additional days has gone well at Fire Prairie and Osage Trail. The next grade levels to transition back will be the 9th-12th grade students on March 8.
Bond and Levy
The District has two questions on the April 6 ballot. Question 1 is a no tax increase bond issue and Question 2 is a no tax increase levy transfer. The committee was encouraged to share information with parents and patrons when possible. Additional information can be found on our District website. If anyone has any questions, please reach out to me at email@example.com.