The Osceola School Board felt the love last month during School Board Week; students and staff created banners, posters, cards and cupcakes in recognition of all the work board members do for the district.
Mark Luebker stated, “In appreciation of National School Board Week, we thank you all for your support and working together for both the staff and students.
Next, the Board approved the Third Friday in September Pupil Count of 1675. After adjustments and factoring in Franconia School District students and open enroll in and out students, the final headcount to be reported to DPI is 1582.
Osceola High School proposed a new course to the board, which was unanimously passed. Currently, OHS has an AP Language course, which Adam Spiegel would like to diversify with another choice for students: splitting this course into AP Literature and AP Composition. Title II will pay for instructor training. Spiegel explained that this addition will be “another great opportunity for our kids.”
The Board approved a late addition OMS Student Council Fundraiser. It is the student council president’s goal to sell t-shirts, the proceeds of which will be used for upcoming parties, class incentives and so on.
Osceola Youth Baseball received a $500 donation to help support their nearly 30 teams and 175 participants next season.
Finally, the Board engaged in a lively discussion regarding the 2019-20 Tax Levy for the district. The Board was split as to keeping the levy at 8.48 percent or raising it to 9.2 percent.
Business Manager, Lynette Edwards, explained: “My recommendation as far as the best needs for the district are to get the debt paid off as well as we can with 9.2 percent.” The benefits of doing so, according to Edwards, would be an additional cost savings of $56,000 for the future of the loan and to “pay our debt down sooner,” putting the district in a better financial standing going forward.
While Edwards’ recommendation was received well by half of the board, Rosanne Anderson and Pete Kammerud expressed concerns on raising the levy, specifically, if doing so will increase taxes for residents and why paying off the debt sooner is a benefit in the long run.
In the end, the majority of the Board voted in favor of the 9.2 percent levy, hoping this change will make a positive difference for the district.