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Proposition Licking R-VIII – School Bond issue


Submitted
Proposed Licking R-VIII elementary expansion.

Information provided by Superintendent Cristina Irwin

  On April 2, Licking R-VIII School District will ask the community to vote on Proposition Licking R-VIII, a 99-cent increase to the debt-service levy to fund an elementary expansion, eliminate elementary trailers, increase safety and security, expand the elementary cafeteria and repair existing facilities.
  The elementary expansion is slated to be approximately 22,260 square feet. The building will be designed to complement both the current elementary building and the exterior design of FEMA. Music, art, the media center, computer lab, Title Classrooms, Special Education, kindergarten, and locker rooms will be added along with an office space and secure entrance at the north end of the building. A covered entrance will provide for a parent drop-off point separate from school buses.
  The trailers that have been used as portable classrooms for the past twenty years are rapidly deteriorating. They contribute to high energy bills due to inefficient heating and cooling, require students and staff to walk outdoors for access, and present a significant safety risk in inclement weather, intruder threat, and countless other scenarios.
  A bond issue requires voter approval, and is a way for the school district to borrow money to fund capital projects. Capital projects include building new schools, school renovations and certain technology costs. The money from bond issues can ONLY be used for capital expenditures such as building new schools, school renovations and major technology costs as well as paying down existing debt. Bond funds MAY NOT be used for operating expenses. Operating expenses include staff salaries and benefits (74%), transportation costs, utilities, textbooks, other supplies, and school support. When voters pass/approve a bond issue, the school district obtains bids and sells bonds to the purchaser that offers the lowest interest cost. The district pays back the debt over a period of time, typically around 20 years.
  Licking R-VIII has two separate funding sources: the annual operating budget and bond issues. The annual operating budget is paid from the operating levy, which has remained at the lowest allowable rate, $2.75, for 24 years (since 1994). Bond issues are paid for out of the debt service levy. Licking R-VIII currently does NOT have a debt service levy. In comparison to Licking R-VIII’s $2.75 total levy, the total levy for other area schools is as follows: Houston R-1 $3.55, Rolla $3.56, Logan-Rogersville R-VIII $4.00, Cabool $3.20, Mtn. View-Birchtree $3.62, Salem $3.20, Newburg $4.21, and West Plains $3.80.
  The Licking R-VIII School District encourages you to attend community meetings in the Elementary Cafeteria on February 19 at 6 p.m. and March 7 at 6 p.m. For answers to specific questions, please call Superintendent Cristina Irwin at 573-674-2911 or email cirwin@licking.k12.mo.us.

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