The purpose of the ISD 728 Legislative Platform is to state publicly the School Board’s priorities on issues critical to ISD 728. The platform conveys to legislators, policymakers and the public these priorities and guides the school district’s Legislative Action Team’s advocacy efforts.
For more information or to become an important member of the Legislative Action Team, email Cory Franson at email@example.com.
Due to increasing expenses, ISD 728 anticipates and will be required to reduce the 2019-2020 budget by 10.2 million dollars. This is in addition to the $10.6 million in reductions over the past 6 years. Expenses continue to increase in areas such as transportation, personnel, insurance, and special education. In fact, ISD 728 spends $10.5 million dollars annually out of its General Budget to pay for unfunded special education mandates, which takes programming and support away from all learners.
Unfortunately, State and Federal funding have not kept pace with inflation and increasing costs needed to operate our schools. We are asking Legislators to support our 2019 Legislative initiatives, and to increase education funding, thus creating equity, providing support for current unfunded mandates, and ensuring quality experiences for ALL learners.
ISD 728, the 8th largest school district in the state, operates 10 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, 3 high schools, 1 alternative high school, 1 online high school, and an early education and lifelong learning center.
The student composition profile is:
- English Language Learners: 2.3%
- Students qualifying for Free or Reduced lunch status: 17.7%
- Students of color: 12%
- Students receiving special education services: 15.6%
The ISD 728 Strategic Plan was approved by the School Board in May of 2018. The plan, created by students, parents, community members, business leaders, staff and teachers, established the District’s roadmap that guides our work for 2019 and beyond.
How do we compare?
ISD 728 is producing phenomenal student achievement results despite lagging the state and metro average for total revenue per student. Our students excel in the classroom, the community, on the stage, as well as on the fields and courts. The District is considered ‘property poor’, and taxpayers are paying an equitable share of taxes. However, a high percentage of local taxes are used to retire debt on buildings rather than to operate schools.
The District receives $1,502 less total General Fund revenue per pupil unit compared to the state average and $1,220 less than the 7 county metro district average. At the same time, the District’s contribution to mandated Special Education services has grown to $10.5 million annually.
If ISD 728 revenues per student matched that of the 7 county metro districts or the state average, 728 District revenues would increase
by $15.9 to $19.6 million annually.
Increase the equalization factors in the debt-service equalization program and other facilities-related formulas that have low equalizing factors.
Special Education, English Language Learners, Gifted and Talented
Implement a plan to fully fund the Special Education, Gifted and Talented and English Language Learner mandate. In FY18, the ISD 728 cross-subsidy to support ISD 728 students was approximately $10.5 million annually.
Basic Formula and Growth Allowance
Increase the basic formula allowance by at least 3% per year for the next biennium and index the formula to inflation for the future.
Amend the basic formula allowance to school districts experiencing annual student population growth higher than 3% to better meet the challenging needs presented by explosive growth.