July 28, 2014 
San Diego School Bond Transparency Scorecard Update  
School Bond Programs are More Transparent, Study Shows
July 14, 2014 | By Maureen Magee | www.utsandiego.com

EXCERPT:  ... The most transparent bond programs are run by large districts - San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union High School. The tiny Julian Union High School District was rated the least transparent in the report from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.     The information is intended to help districts and inform the public, said W. Mark Leslie, president of the taxpayers association.

     "Voters have agreed to pay more taxes... ," he said. "They deserve to know if the promises are being kept."

     The report, "School Bond Transparency in San Diego County," rates bond measures recently approved in 21 districts using its "School bond transparency score card" that covers everything from posting financial audits online to providing information about members of citizen oversight committees.

      The organization found that school districts met 90 percent of the criteria, up from 80 percent in its last review conducted in 2011. San Diego Unified and Sweetwater were the only districts to earn perfect scores, having met all of the 23 criteria. The organization deemed Julian (met 7 of 23 criteria) and the Encinitas Union School District (met 10 of 23 criteria) as the least transparent. They are the only two districts to meet fewer than half of the criteria. ...

   To read the complete article, please visit: 


School Bond Transparency in San Diego County, July 2014
San Diego Taxpayers Education Foundation PDF: http://goo.gl/jji2Jm


ABC 10News Video: New study finds local school district bond programs becoming more transparent 
Contra Costa County | Assessed Property Values
Acalanes district seeks to validate bond issuance exceeding promised tax rate
July 17, 2014 | By Theresa Harrington | www.contracostatimes.com
EXCERPT:  ...  LAFAYETTE -- The Acalanes school district has filed court papers asking a judge to validate the issuance of $15 million in construction bonds, which will exceed the tax rate promised to voters.

     The district's 2008 Measure E ballot language stated that property owners would not pay a higher rate than they were already paying for bonds issued in 2002, but the district recently disclosed that the promised tax rate has already been exceeded this year due to lower-than-anticipated growth in assessed property values.

     In 2008, 64 percent of voters approved the $93 million bond measure, which promised that the bonds would be issued "without increasing current (school bond) tax rates" of $35.58 per $100,000 in assessed property value.

     The calculation was based on the assumption that property values would grow by 5.75 percent a year after 2008, even though the actual growth rate was only 5.74 percent the year before the election.

     Instead, property values declined or grew more slowly than projected, causing the tax rate to jump to $36.10 per $100,000 in 2013-14. The district is projecting the tax rate will rise to about $51 per $100,000 in 2024 if it issues the $15 million in new current interest bonds to complete school improvement projects as planned.

     Trustees voted 4-1 last month to do just that, with the understanding that the bonds could not be sold unless a judge agrees that the district can renege on its promise in the ballot language. The district is asking the court to issue an injunction preventing anyone from challenging the validity, issuance and sale of the bonds in the future.

     "Because it can be argued that the current bond issuance is not consistent with the Measure E ballot language regarding the estimated tax rate, the district will pursue a validation process through the Superior Court to ensure the legality of the bond sales, and verify that the bonds will be valid and binding," said Board President Kathy Coppersmith in a message to the community posted on the district's website last week.

     In court documents, the district is arguing that the tax rate projections included in the ballot materials were estimates that "would not prevent the district from increasing the tax rates as allowed by law if necessary to fund and build approved school facilities."...

To read the complete article, please visit:   

Blog post that includes links to the district's validation complaint and related previous board resolutions:

Public notice of summons. Deadline for residents to contest is August 18, 2014: 
In This Issue
San Diego School Board Transparency Scorecard
Bond Issuance Exceeding Promised Rate
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May 8, 2015, Friday 
CaLBOC May 9, 2014 Conference Presentation
Pay to Play in School Bond Measures-What it is and Why it is Wrong
Presented by Lori Raineri
of Government Financial Strategies, GFS
Mission Statement 

To promote school district accountability by improving the training and resources available to California's Proposition 39 School Bond Oversight Committees and educating the state legislature, local school boards and the public about the oversight and reporting powers these Citizens' Bond Oversight Committees (CBOCs) have, and to advocate on a state level, where appropriate, on issues of common concern to all CBOCs.

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