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Fort Leonard Wood Community votes overwhelmingly to increase local school tax levy and maintain Federal B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid eligibility

by Erin Younkin | Apr 10, 2017

Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – April 6, 2017 On April 4, Fort Leonard Wood community citizens sent a clear message to the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense that they are committed to doing their part in ensuring military connected children in the Waynesville R-VI School District receive the best education possible. 

Over 70% of local voters chose to increase their current school tax levy by 20 cents to continue receiving $8.5 million in Federal B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid, which accounts for 12% of the district’s current budget.

“Historically, this may be one of the most important decisions our community has made to maintain quality educational programming, excellent facilities, and outstanding educators in our school district. The community’s voice at the polls speaks volumes about the support of not only the Waynesville R-VI School District, but also support for the growth and prosperity of Fort Leonard Wood. This increase will ensure the district is able to qualify for this federal impact aid for approximately 10 more years.” said Waynesville R-VI Superintendent and Sustainable Ozarks Partnership Chair Dr. Brian Henry.

The Waynesville school district has a strong history of effectively utilizing impact aid to provide students with a continuously improving educational environment. Over the past four years, Waynesville’s Annual Performance Report (APR) score has increased 15.4%. Missouri’s APR shows how well each school district is meeting Missouri’s education standards, which encompass the following five areas:

  • Academic Achievement
  • Subgroup Achievement
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Attendance
  • Graduation Rate

In 2013, the district had an APR score of 82.1% and in 2016, the district’s score was 97.5%. The graduation rate for the district is also well above the national and state average at 93.9%, compared to 88% for the state of Missouri and 83.2% across the United States.

"This was a vote to preserve opportunities for kids and our community over the next decade. The passing of this levy sends a very strong signal to the Army and Department of Defense decision makers that we are a truly Great American Defense Community that places our children's education as a very high priority,” said Henry.

Special Notes:

  • To remain qualified to receive Federal B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid at least 45% of a school district’s students must be military impacted, counting both uniformed and civilian-connected students. Approximately 76% of Waynesville’s students are military impacted.
  • School districts must also make a reasonable local tax effort, which is defined as at least 95% of the average for a group of comparable districts within the state. The passing of this tax increase ensures the local tax effort meets that requirement.
  • A district must have a per pupil expenditure (PPE) of less than 125% of the state’s average PPE. The Waynesville R-VI School District spends $10,296 per pupil, which is less than the Missouri state average of $10,486.

The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership is building on the Fort Leonard Wood Region’s strong past and preparing the region for a healthy, resilient future. We are a nonprofit organization working to bring all of the region’s stakeholders to the table to drive regional development and advocate for new or expanded military and federal missions, all as part of our efforts to strengthen the Fort Leonard Wood region.

Strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region