With budget concerns looming, the Fort Osage School District is taking the issue to the people to ask how they would like to proceed with potential cuts.

With budget concerns looming, the Fort Osage School District is taking the issue to the people to ask how they would like to proceed with potential cuts.

The Fort Osage District is planning three community discussions centered on the current and future financial budget.

“State of the Fort” will be:

Noon, April 8 at the Fort Osage Career and Technology Center. Reservations are recommended. Call Stephanie Smith at 816-650-7019 or contact her by e-mail at ssmith@fortosage.net for more information.

 

6:30 p.m., April 8 at Buckner Elementary.

 

6:30 p.m., April 19 at Elm Grove Elementary.


The goal, said Smith, public relations director for the district, is simple.

“We are looking for that feedback piece from the public,” she said. “We are going to share information with the community as to the current budget situation and the steps we have taken so far to reduce expenditures. We want to gauge from the community the direction they want us to go.”

So far, the Fort Osage School District has cut almost $3 million from its budget, and more reductions are likely as the state’s financial picture continues to worsen. Discussion topics will range from how the district should produce with future cuts, a potential tax levy increase and how the district can continue to provide the best education for students.

In addition, Vision 2020, the district’s long-range plan will be discussed. In the plan, a bond issue is slated for the April 2011 ballot. Projects included would be a new early childhood/Parents As Teachers facility; additional classrooms at Fire Prairie, Osage Trail and the CTC and upgrades at Fort Osage High School.

“We believe that we should give the public every opportunity to know what the district is doing,” Smith said. “We are in unusual times and we could be seeing a lot of changes in education that we have never seen before. Yes, the district could say this is what we think is best, but ultimately it is the taxpayers that are paying the bill.”