The annual meeting of the Oostburg School District Board of Education was held on October 18th. State law requires that every public school district holds an annual meeting where residents have the opportunity to provide input around the operation of the school district and where the school board and administrative staff shares district achievements and goals. Annual meetings also include resolutions which accomplish the following:
- Adopt the 2017-18 budget and local tax levy
- Set school board member salaries
- Establish length of school year
- Authorize short term borrowing if necessary
The annual meeting includes several additional resolutions and provides an advisory position to the board for their binding action in relation to the final budget. Public school district budgeting and annual meeting reporting includes several challenges related to availability of information. Although our fiscal year is required to run from July 1 – June 30, districts do not receive final budget information from the state until well into October. For example, our state aid is based on the equalized value of all property in our district along with the total enrollment of students. Both our enrollment and equalized district value have been increasing; however, those numbers are not finalized by the Department of Public Instruction until October 15.
Districts are required to publish annual meeting notices well before October 15 which is also the date when private school voucher enrollment is released. District residents may not be aware that the voucher program is funded by local, not state, tax dollars. Our Oostburg private school voucher amount had been approximately $75,000 for the past two budget years. This year’s state budget expanded voucher eligibility and the result was a local levy impact of just under $150,000. During our annual meeting, the OSD board approved a local levy increase of 1.3%. Our local levy would have been 2.8% lower (representing about $25 per $100,000 in property value) in the absence of the voucher program.
Our annual meeting also includes a review of progress toward district goals and the adoption of goals for the upcoming school year. Our district goal for the 2017-18 school year is to achieve an ACT composite average of 23.0. This goal would continue our placement in the top 2-3% of all school districts in Wisconsin. Please review the series of graphs included below as we celebrate the return on investment our community receives from the Oostburg School District.
Enjoy this day!