FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have a question you don’t see answered? Submit it HERE!
A bond is authorization for a school district to borrow money and to establish a tax rate to pay off the debt over time. The bond only pays for capital projects, such as facilities and equipment, and may not be used for regular operational costs like salaries or supplies.
A 4/7 majority, or 57.1% plus 1 vote is required to pass a bond issue.
This is possible thanks to good fiscal management by the district. Due to refinancing and paying off some debt early, $32 Million in bonding capacity is available to reissue to complete Phase II improvements and expansions needed.
$0.93 of the current tax levy is allocated to pay off existing bonds. This debt service levy has remained very consistent for the past 15 years, ranging between $0.86 – $0.97 since 2005.
Since 2017, the District has held multiple open community conversations, surveyed stakeholders, held board of education study sessions, and conducted demographic studies. The list of projects were broken into two (2) phases. The determination based on these conversations were that Phase I priorities would include; district-wide safety and security improvements as a top priority, Logan Elementary needing updated, the Upper Elementary Entrance needing updated, and deferred maintenance for safety/security and accessibility and efficiency is necessary. Phase II would happen in 2022 when more bonding capacity was available. Phase II priorities have always been on the list of proposed projects. As we continue to grow as a school district, more classroom space is needed and aging facilities need updating. Improvements and additional facilities are needed to support program offerings, athletics, and activities.
Work would begin immediately on projects that could be completed during the summer of 2022 in order to avoid disruptions during the school year and protect the educational environment as much as possible. Work will continue throughout the 2022 – 2025 school years. Barring any delays in product, shipping, and worker shortages, all projects are expected to be complete during summer of 2025 in time for school to start in August 2025.
History of Current LR Facilities
Realtors agree a good school system attracts buyers to an area. Many home buyers ask about the school district before making a decision. In addition, companies that are considering locations for new businesses insist on a good educational system for their children and their employee's children. Knowing the Logan-Rogersville School District has excellent faculty and staff, as well as safe and modern facilities, could be the deciding factor for many families and businesses to come to the community. This would lead to higher property values for homeowners.
The demographic studies completed in 2015 and again in 2018 did not indicate an immediate need for additional school buildings in Phase I - 2019.
The demographic study conducted prior to the High School opening in 2005 and the Primary School in Jamestown opening in 2008, predicted a steep incline in student growth and the need for additional land purchase and plans for an additional elementary school, additions to existing facilities, etc. However, the financial crisis of 2008, all but stopped LR’s growth. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) enrollment reports show three (3) more LR students in 2015 compared to 2008.
In 2015, the district conducted an in-depth demographic study. The predicted student growth was slow and gradual. The district updated the demographic study in 2018. The 2018 updated study predicted the student growth to continue, but the rate of growth was adjusted downward based on the past three years data.
Not all new housing brings new students to LR. The national average is 0.40 students per new single-family home. In the LR District there are only 0.129 school-age children per each new single-family home built.
The school nearest capacity is Logan Elementary. The other schools have some available room for student growth based on the 2021 demographic study predictions, but not enough to sustain our current pace of growth. Therefore, the addition of classrooms at the current schools is being included in Phase II – 2022.
Local dollars are a larger percentage of LR’s overall revenue than State dollars, so it is important that our local assessed valuation supports public schools (see chart below). While every home built does bring value to LR assessed valuation, property is assessed differently. Agriculture land is assessed at 12%, residential at 19%, and commercial at 31%. The assessed valuation of the LR district has experienced a reboot since the recession. The new norm is much lower than 12+ years ago.
Fund balance is expressed as “Unrestricted Fund Balance.” This is the amount of money you have in reserves. The health and wellness of a district’s finances can be seen in the fund balance maintained over time. Typically, districts will try to hold three (3) months worth of expenses in reserves in case the state has to withhold funds. Fund Balances can also be allowed to increase over a few years in preparation for a large, one-time expenditure, i.e. saving up to build a new FEMA structure.
Districts have different tolerance levels and ideology regarding fund balances. The more heavily dependent upon State funding, the more likely a school is to have a larger fund balance. The LR Board of Education’s goal is to maintain a fund balance of over 18%.
The chart below shows the fund balance history over the past 18 years. *Note: LR’s fund balances dropped dangerously low during 2008 - 2010. At the time, when a district reached 5%, they were considered a financially stricken district and parents would have had the option to send their students to a neighboring district at LR’s expense. Due to LR’s strong financial management under the current administration and board of education, the LR District’s Standard and Poor’s Rating improved from a “Strong Capacity to Repay Loans” A+ rating, to a AA- “Very High Capacity to Repay Loans” in 2019.
Without the passage of the No-Tax Increase Bond Referendum, the district will do its best to continue to complete small individual projects as current funding allows. It will take many years to piece together major renovations, improvements, additional classroom space, and the addition of the final safe room without the passage of a the bond.
The determination to allocate Phase I, $8,000,000 on safety and security was top priority. It was also determined that accessibility improvements needed to be made to several athletic facilities. There was no sidewalk to the soccer field, nor a wheelchair accessible place to view a soccer game. The same was true for the baseball field. Both facilities needed bleacher improvements while dirt work was being performed for sidewalks. Also, the baseball infield light poles were 30+ years old and no electrical company would work on them due to the age and deterioration of the poles. They had to be replaced. The final athletic project that needed improvements due to safety concerns and accessibility was the Middle School gym. The railing was not to current code, the bleachers were non-functioning and beyond repair, and the chair backs and stairwells needed improvements.
For Phase II, yes, there will be continued improvement to athletic facilities, including additions. The ability for all students to have access to spaces that will allow them to practice and improve is important to their overall development. LR is in need of indoor and outdoor spaces that will be more accessible in inclement weather and in different seasons. Improvements and additions specific to high school activities and athletics spaces will be programmed into the school day to allow students to access new and improved spaces before, during, and after school.
The Logan-Rogersville School District is pleased to provide revenues and expenditures through the Accountability Portal on the district website. There you will find general information about revenues and expenditures that is shared in an effort to keep all parents and citizens up to date on our financial positions.
DESE uses the term “Per Pupil Expenditure” (PPE) to express a districts total budget spent per student. The national average is over $12,000. In Missouri, depending on where you live PPE can range from $6,000 to $18,000. The chart below show’s 2021’s PPE for LR and some surrounding schools.
The LR school board commissions an independent audit every single year. LR complies with state statue 165.121 RSMo and submits the audit to DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). The audit finds are published in the Marshfield Mail according to RSMo 165.121.5(3) requirement to make the audit public information. LR goes above and beyond by publishing all prior year audits to the district website. The audits have all indicated that the financial statement disclosures are neutral, consistent, and clear. To translate audit terms...LR has excellent business practices and procedures and is excellent in the way we manage funds.
Federal funding for school districts is based on a state formula that encompasses students with disabilities and those who receive free & reduced lunch. Each year, DESE notifies districts of the amount of federal revenue they will receive based on this formula. There is no way to qualify for more federal funds unless the number of students with disabilities or students who receive free & reduced lunch increases. The district does apply for Federal grants for constructing FEMA shelters, which we have utilized for three buildings within the district.