Finance Department

District reports healthy financial status
Mid-Year operating funds
Mid-Year Operating Funds
Each school district is required annually to report to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) the fund balances as of December 31 in the incidental and teachers funds, commonly referred to as the operating funds.

These funds are separate from the funds used for capital improvements and payments on facility-related debt. As of Dec. 31, 2015, the Ray-Pec operating fund balance was $18,622,159. Fund balances have improved and stabilized in recent years from the low point during the most recent recession. Conservative budgeting and the sound fiscal practices of the Board of Education contribute to healthy fund balances. 

The District receives much of its revenue between December 15 and January 31 with the payment of annual property taxes. Fund balances are necessary to cover expenses during the first half of the school year prior to the receipt of property taxes. DESE also reports fund balances at the end of the June 30 fiscal year.

The District has a stated goal to maintain a year end fund balance of 23 percent of annual operating expenses, which represents nearly three months of cash reserves. The current budget projects the District will finish the fiscal year with approximately 25 percent in operating fund balances. (See larger view of graph)

Board approves audit
The Board of Education on Oct. 15, 2015, approved the audit of the District's finances for the year ended June 30, 2015. 

Diana Closterman, a certified public accountant and partner from Westbrook & Co., P.C., Richmond, Mo., presented a summary report. The District had a clean opinion on its financial statements.

The audit included fund balances as of June 30, 2015. The District's financial status, as reflected in total net assets, increased by $1,811,819. She reported on the District's outstanding long-term debt. Outstanding debt decreased to $47,817,180 from $53,285,109 in 2014.

Closterman said the District's reserves were at a healthy 29.51 percent on June 30, 2015. The District's Strategic Plan directs that reserve balances be maintained at 23 percent, with a 3 percent variance for specific needs.

Read more: Audit

Bond refinancing saves taxpayers $2.75 million
Bond refinancing

Taxpayers in the Raymore-Peculiar School District will save more than $2.75 million in interest costs thanks to a bond refinancing approved on Aug. 27 by the School Board.

The Board approved refinancing more than $20 million of outstanding 2008 bonds, and issuing new bonds at a lower interest rate to realize the savings. The interest savings over time will total $2,758,100.

These funds can only be used for the retirement of debt on facilities. The savings will enhance the District's future ability to implement its Long Range Facility Plan and to finance facility improvements.

George K. Baum, municipal advisor, and Bryan Cave LLP, bond counsel, handled the bond refinancing using a competitive bid process.

Of the six bids received, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC was the bidder offering the lowest true interest cost. The other bidders were: Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co., Robert W. Baird & Co., Piper Jaffray, and Morgan Stanley & Co.

Voters on April 8, 2008, approved a $27 million bond issue to purchase 120 acres of land on M-58 west of M-291 and to finance the construction of a school on a portion of the land at that site. With the voter approval, the District developed a portion of the site to construct and equip Ray-Pec East Middle School. The project also included extending to the site the needed infrastructure, including water and sewer.

A principal amount of just over $22 million remains outstanding from the 2008 bond issue. This plan involves refinancing the eligible portion of those funds.

As of July 1, 2015, the District had just over $39 million in general obligation debt principal. This included outstanding bonds from 2007, 2008 and 2011. The debt is paid by the debt service tax levy of $1.3457 per $100 of assessed value.

When complete, the refinancing of the 2008 bonds will result in modifications to the bond amortization schedule through 2023, when the remaining bonds are paid off.

School board to proceed with bond refinancing

The school Board on July 16, 2015, took steps to refinance more than $20 million of outstanding 2008 bonds and potentially save the taxpayers more than $2 million in interest. The District will issue new bonds at a lower interest rate to realize the savings.

The Board authorized George K. Baum, municipal adviser, and Bryan Cave LLP, bond counsel, to prepare the necessary documents for the bond refinancing. New bonds will be sold using a competitive bid process.

Greg Bricker, executive vice president of George K. Baum, outlined the refinance proposal to the Board at its July meeting. He explained the benefit of paying off some of the bond principal early and capturing lower interest rates to save money.

Bond rating
As part of the Raymore-Peculiar School District's recently approved refinancing of $20 million of outstanding 2008 bonds, Standard and Poor's Rating Services assigned its AA+ long-term rating and AA- underlying rating to the District's refunding bonds.

At the same time, Standard and Poor's affirmed the AA+ program rating and AA- underlying rating on the District's remaining general obligation debt.

Standard and Poor's reported that the outlook on all of the ratings is stable. They noted that the District has strong market value per capita and good financial management practices supporting strong reserves. Read more about the 2015 rating: Bond rating


The Finance Department includes:
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Finance
  • Budgeting
Find forms on our site:

Cyndee2 web


Cyndee Byous
Chief Financial Officer

21005 S. School Rd.
P.O. Box 789
Peculiar, MO  64078

Ph: (816) 892-1326
Fx: (816) 892-1380


Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.