Frequently Asked Questions
Who can vote on the April 2, 2019 ballot?
Any Raytown School District resident who is 18 years or older can vote on the April ballot. Raytown School District's attendance boundaries include Kansas City, Independence, and Raytown addresses.
How can bond monies be spent?
An easy way to think about bond money spending is to think about bricks and mortar. Bond monies are primarily used to build or to better existing facilities, sometimes including the purchase of land or sites. Occasionally, bond monies are used for technology and technology infrastructure, such as wiring. Bond monies cannot be used for salaries or for the general operating budget. In a household budget, bond monies would be like your home improvement or new home fund.
Why is the District seeking bond funds?
The average age of District buildings (excluding New Trails Early Learning Center and Little Blue Elementary School) is over 50 years old. While repairs have been ongoing, large-scale projects are more difficult to fund from current monies. The District prides itself on spending the bulk of its budget on things that will directly affect student achievement, so sometimes that means there is a need for delaying facility upgrades and repairs. A bond election helps the District complete those repairs and upgrades.
How can the District pass a bond issue without increasing taxes or my levy?
The Board of Education is able to structure the bonds without an increase in the bond and interest tax rate. Passing the no tax increase bond issue will not increase the amount that patrons currently pay in taxes. It will extend the number of years that patrons will pay the same amount. Imagine buying a house and making a monthly payment. You live there for five years and discover you need a larger home. Before you pay off your 20-year mortgage on the original, you refinance and upgrade your home, working to have the same payment amount, but you have now extended the payment out several years with your refinanced mortgage. The District would be doing the same thing with this bond issue. The District has been making payments on the bonds and is now asking to extend that payment with the purchase of new bonds.
How does this bond differ for the 2014 bond issue?
2019 Strong Bonds, Bright Future projects are part of the District's long-range facility plan, which also included the projects completed as part of the 2014 Refresh Raytown Schools Bond Issue. The District's facility plan was reassessed in 2018 by the Hollis + Miller architectural firm and included feedback from students, staff, and families who have a stake in bettering Raytown Schools. Strong Bond, Bright Futures projects represent the next phase the plan, picking up where the 2014 bond project left off, providing upgrades and repairs to a new set of identified, mission-critical projects.
What are lease purchases and why do they need to be moved?
A lease purchase is short term financing at a higher interest rate than long-term financing. These funds are used for capital purchases or improvements. The District has used the lease purchase form of financing to:
- Install field turf at the high schools
- Remodel the Raytown Schools Wellness Center
- Make improvements to the Raytown South Baseball and Softball Complex
- Remodel Three Trails Preschool
By moving these lease purchases, the District will move this debt from higher short-term interest rates to lower long-term interest rates.
What happens if the bond does not pass? Will I see a decrease in my taxes?
The 2019 bond issue has two questions.
- If Question 1 does not pass, without bond funds, money for repairs, maintenance, and safety upgrades would be limited. The District would not be able to repair and upgrade aging school buildings, expand fine arts classrooms, provide after school meals to elementary students, improve security at all school, or complete other major capital improvements. If Question 1 does not pass, patrons will not see an immediate decrease in the taxes. The District's tax levy would remain at $6.32 for a period of seven to nine years.
- If Question 2 does not pass, the District will not be able to move close to $1 million to the operating budget. The Operating budget pays for the day-to-day expenses of running a school district, such as staff salaries, classroom materials, and district programs. With recent drops in enrollment, the District faces an anticipated loss of $1.7 million for the 2019-2020 school year. Moving funds from debt services to the operating budget would help in offsetting the loss. If Question 2 does not pass, patrons will not see an immediate decrease in their taxes. The District's tax levy would remain at $6.32 for a period of seven to nine years.
What is the total debt of the school district?
The District’s current General Obligation (GO) indebtedness is $56,705,000. In addition, the District has approximately $12,000,000 in lease-purchase debt.
If the April 2019 bond issue passes, how much will long-term debt increase?
If the bond passes, GO indebtedness will increase to $109,705,000. The District’s current term will end in 2034. If the bond passes, it will end in 2039.
What is the estimated interest rate and term?
3.75% for 20 years under current market conditions.
How long does the District have to spend bond funds?
Bond funds must be spent in three years but a district may request an extension of one additional year.
When enrollment has decreased, are additions such as restrooms and band and choir room renovations needed?
Yes. The buildings where bathroom additions are proposed have one main restroom for the entire building. Band and choir room renovations are proposed to address increased participation in arts programs at the secondary level. The decrease of more than 560 students is seen across all buildings and grade levels. When you spread out 560+ students over 20 buildings and 13 grade levels, there is not a huge impact at any one particular building.