FULL TEXT OF BOND MEASURE M
ALISAL UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Alisal Union School District serves a population of more than 9,000 students in twelve K-6 schools. The District has aging schools, and it faces other challenges to its capacity to adequately house all of its students. Many classrooms have not been renovated in more than 65 years. The need for improvement is particularly critical at Alisal Community School, built in 1936, and Fremont Elementary School, built in 1941. These two schools were built for 400 students; they are severely overcrowded with 800 students. District-wide, schools have tremendous needs, in order to support the demands of a 21st Century education. We must modernize outdated classrooms for core academics. We must repair or replace deteriorated roofs, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and electrical systems. We must repair or replace aging fire, safety, and security systems. And we must upgrade classrooms and technology for 21st Century learning. A much larger, and much longer term solution is needed to address these issues.
The State of California requires a local match, funded primarily through local, general obligation bonds, for school districts wishing to pursue matching state funds for the upgrade or replacement of school buildings and facilities. The millions of dollars potentially available through the State match allows local taxpayers to benefit from the tax dollars they already pay to Sacramento.
It is imperative that our students are housed in safe schools. In addition, our students would benefit from complete, comprehensive, and efficient schools. We need to act locally to build safe and modern schools to ensure our students have the educational opportunities they deserve.
To repair/modernize neighborhood school classrooms, facilities, and technology infrastructure supporting programs in reading, math, science and arts; improve disabled student access; repair/replace fire safety, plumbing and electrical systems; with funding that cannot be taken by the State; shall Alisal Union School District rebuild Fremont Elementary School and Alisal Community School and construct one new elementary school to relieve overcrowding and improve student learning; by issuing $70 million in bonds at legal rates, with independent oversight, and no money for administrators?
BONDS MAY BE ISSUED IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY BONDING LIMIT
Issuance of all of the authorized bonds might require the outstanding debt of the District to exceed its statutory bonding limit of 1.25% of the total assessed valuation of taxable property in the District. In that event, the District intends to seek a waiver of its bonding limit from the State Board of Education, which has the power to waive certain requirements of the Education Code applicable to the District. By approval of this proposition, the voters have authorized the District to seek such a waiver, and to issue authorized bonds in excess of the 1.25% limit as the State Board of Education may approve.
SCHOOL FACILITIES PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED FROM BOND PROCEEDS
As required by the California Constitution, the proceeds from the sale of the bonds will be used only for the purposes authorized under Article XIIIA of the California Constitution, including acquisition or improvement of real property for school facilities, as more specifically set forth in this Bond Measure, and costs incident thereto. Proceeds of the bonds may be used to pay or reimburse the District for the cost of District staff when performing work on or necessary and incidental to the bond projects.
The scope of specific projects, the order of construction, priority, and completion is contingent on final project costs and the availability of needed funds, all as determined within the discretion of the Board of Trustees. Further, such projects are of the type that issuing the authorized general obligation bonds as stated will not cause the State to reduce any financial hardship contribution that would otherwise be available to the District had these bonds not been authorized, issued, and or expended for their stated purpose.
These projects may include participation in the State Facility Program’s Joint-Use Program to gain matching funds for teacher education, multi-purpose rooms, gymnasiums, libraries, childcare, and other qualifying Joint-Use facilities. With respect to such joint-use projects, the bond funds authorized by this Measure may be used to pay all of the local share needed to qualify the projects for special State matching funds under the State Facility Program’s Joint-Use Program requirements.
If the bonds are approved, the Board of Trustees will implement the following accountability measures in accordance with State law:
(a) use the bond proceeds only for the purposes authorized under Article XIIIA, including those purposes allowed by the Constitution as set forth in section 15100 of the Act that comprise the acquisition or improvement of real property, as more specifically set forth herein, and costs incident thereto, and not for any other purpose, including salaries and other routine school operating expenses;
(b) conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only for the purposes as set forth herein;
(c) conduct an annual, independent financial audit of the proceeds from the sale of the Bonds until all of those proceeds have been expended for the purposes as set forth herein; and
(d) establish and appoint members to an independent citizens’ oversight committee to ensure that such proceeds are expended for the specific purposes set forth in the Bond Measure, and to annually report to the District and the public concerning the expenditure of bond proceeds. The citizens’ oversight committee shall be established, composed, and conduct itself in accordance with bylaws to be established by the Board, which Bylaws shall include, without limitation, the following permissive provisions:
(1) a provision that all reasonable, good faith efforts shall be made to recruit members to the citizens’ oversight committee from each of the categories of membership listed in section 15282 of the Education Code but that failure to seat any particular category, so long as such efforts are made, shall not affect the valid establishment of the committee or its ability to discharge its duties.
(2) a provision for a single member to serve in more than one such category shown in section 15282 of the Education Code.
(3) a provision for the appointment of “proxies” for each member of the citizens’ oversight committee, in order for such a committee to achieve a quorum for the conduct of its business.
(4) a provision permitting citizens’ oversight committee members to serve without term limitation.
STATE MATCHING FUNDS
California Education Code section 15122.5 requires the following statement to be included in this sample ballot:
"Approval of this bond measure does not guarantee that the proposed projects in the Alisal Union School District that are the subject of bonds under this measure will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this bond measure. The school district's proposal for certain of the projects assumes the receipt of matching state funds, which are subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure."
ANNUAL TAX AMOUNT, RATE, AND DURATION
The bonds shall bear interest at an annual rate not exceeding the statutory maximum. The maturity of the bonds shall not exceed the maximum term allowed by law at the time of issuance (currently 25 years if issued under Education Code section 15140, or 40 years if issued under Government Code section 53508, so long as the bonds are not capital appreciation bonds (“CABs,” which CABs are limited to 25 years)). Accordingly, as further set forth in the tax rate statement, the ad valorem tax will be levied at such rates and for so long as may be required to meet the debt service needs of the bonds proposed to be issued, including such bonds that may be issued to refund any approved bonds.