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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Bond Issue Progress


Q: What is a bond issue?
A: A bond issue is a traditional way for schools to borrow money to pay for capital projects such as replacing old roofs or HVAC units. In Missouri this requires voter approval even if - the bond issue will not increase the tax rate (like this one).

Q: How does a bond issue work?
A: When voters approve/pass a bond issue, our school district obtains bids and sells bonds to the purchaser who offers the lowest interest rate. The district uses the funds to complete the capital projects, and pays back the debt over time - typically around 10-12 years. This process is similar to a home loan. When you purchase a home, you borrow money at a specific interest rate. You make payments on that loan, which include principal and interest, over a period of years. A certain amount of your regular income is budgeted to make those payments.

Q: How do schools use bond issues to benefit students?
A: Bond issues allow schools to pay for costly repairs and renovation over time instead of having to pay all at once. It also allows schools to devote most of their day-to-day operating budgets for classroom instruction instead of major repair work.

Q: How will the funds be used?
A: From 2009-2013, the funds will be allocated as shown here (master project list and school by school list). The six major categories of need identified include: General maintenance and repairs; high school science labs; safety, security and health; elementary classroom walls; technology; and fine arts.

Q: Will the funds be used in any other way?
A: No. The money from bond issues can only be used for capital expenditures such as major maintenance, repair, renovation and certain technology costs. Bond funds may not be used for operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, transportation costs, utilities, textbooks or other supplies.

Q: When was the last Parkway bond issue?
A: 2004. Those projects began in the summer of 2004 and were completed as scheduled the summer of 2009. Ninety percent of the money was devoted to building maintenance and repair, and 10 percent was earmarked for computers and technology.

Q: What is the difference between a bond issue and a tax levy proposal?
A: A bond issue is used when a school district wants to borrow money for major school repairs or to purchase large amounts of equipment. This loan is paid off over time using funds that can only be used for the purpose of paying off debt. An operating tax levy (such as Prop R in 2006) provides funding for the ongoing day-to-day operations of our schools, such as paying staff and educating students.

Q. When will the projects from this bond issue be completed?
A. Summer 2013.

Q. How will Parkway decide on projects for the next bond issue?
A. The Project Parkway team will monitor the current projects and provide the board of education with recommendations. Read more about their work.