DJ Leverton
I hope everyone is having a great start to the year.  This year will be filled with great accomplishments, as well, as great challenges for the Pilot Grove C-4 School District. One of the toughest challenges that we will face is how to continue to educate our students with decreasing state and federal funding.  At the time of this writing, the state of Missouri was trying to make enough cuts to overcome a $500 million dollar shortfall. The Board of Education and I have been discussing what we can do as a district to help alleviate the lack of revenues while still maintaining the quality of education that is expected. Finances in a school district can be difficult to understand but there are basically only two ways to offset these funding losses. The two ways are to increase your revenues or decrease your expenditures. The first option to offset the decrease in funding is to find other sources of revenue. The school district relies on three basic sources of revenue. The major sources of revenue are local taxes, state money allocated by attendance and enrollment, and federal money. Unfortunately we can‘t increase our enrollment or require the federal government to send more funding our way. In fact, over the past five years state and federal funding to our district has decreased approximately 11% which amounts to a loss of over $170,000 last year alone. The local source of funding comes from taxes that are paid on personal and real property located in the district. The school district sets the tax rate based on a formula provided by the state. Voters in the district must approve any increase to the tax rate beyond what is set by the state formula.
The other option listed above is to decrease the actual expenditures of the district. Cutting the budget is never easy but must be done in tough economic times.  Last year the school district was able to restructure staff which saved the district several thousand dollars. The problem we have at the moment is that we are quickly running out of positions to cut and maintain a quality school in the process. I believe that if the state and federal funding continue to drop we may have to come up with other alternatives to decrease our expenses. The state legislature is in the process of deciding how much it will allocate to K-12 education.  I do not know what new legislation will be passed or how it will affect our funding.  It is possible that we could receive additional funding and no cuts will be needed. I do, however, believe in being prepared. The district has developed a short survey we would like you to complete to help us in this difficult process. If you would take a few minutes and complete this survey your contribution would be greatly appreciated. We have also established a link on our website if you would rather complete it online:
I am confident that we will be able to continue to provide a great education for all of the students at Pilot Grove C-4. It is during these difficult times that communities pull together and accomplish great things.  I can think of no greater accomplishment than a quality education. Thank you in advance for your time and support.