January 14, 2015
California School Builders, Others to Gather Signatures for November 2016 Bond Measure 
Jan. 12, 2015 | By Jim Miller | www.sacbee.com

  School-construction and home-building groups Monday launched an effort to qualify a $9 billion school bond for the November 2016 ballot, only days after Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget plan that minimized the state's role in paying for building new classrooms and modernizing existing ones.

     The last state school bond was in 2006, and the pot of new construction and modernization money is virtually empty, with a $2 billion backlog in applications for assistance. Besides putting students in aging or overcrowded classrooms, officials warn that the situation could trigger a 1998 state law that would double developer fees on new homes. ...  

     ... Monday's filing  follows Brown's release last Friday of a spending plan for the coming fiscal year that included little new state money for school facilities. Brown has made clear that he takes a dim view of the state incurring debt to build schools.

     Last week's proposal called for making it easier for local districts to pass bonds as well as restructuring developer fees in a way that would likely increase them. Any state contribution, it said, should be targeted to districts with the most need. ...      

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FBI Pursuing Allegations Against
West Contra Costa School District
Dec. 10, 2014 | By Theresa Harrington | www.contracostatimes.com

EXCERPT:   RICHMOND -- The SEC isn't the only fed in town. The FBI confirmed Tuesday that it is also looking into the West Contra Costa school district's $1.6 billion bond program.

      FBI agent Greg Wuthrich said Tuesday that its inquiries are similar to the allegations being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
       The FBI's involvement came to light after Trustee Madeline Kronenberg told this newspaper that she was contacted by an FBI agent in relation to the SEC's investigation into the district's construction bond financing.
     "The FBI does all the SEC investigations," Kronenberg said. "That's what my understanding is. The FBI is the investigative agency, and SEC is the judicial agency.
     But Wuthrich said that's not true.
     "Like the SEC, we actually received allegations as well; however, we are definitely not the investigative arm of the SEC," he said. "We look at different things than they would. We're going to be more of the criminal arm, and they're going to be more of the regulatory arm."
     In July, the SEC sent subpoenas to the West Contra Costa district and then-board President Charles Ramsey, seeking numerous documents and other records related to its bond construction program. Since then, the board has approved more than $700,000 in legal contracts to represent Ramsey, the district, Kronenberg and Associate Superintendent for Business Services Sheri Gamba in the investigations.     
      At least one district resident is unhappy that the board agendas did not divulge that the contracts would cover legal fees amassed as a result of multiple federal investigations.

      Anton Jungherr filed a Brown Act complaint with the district Tuesday, alleging that the board agenda that contained an amended contract for Ramsey's legal fees and Kronenberg's legal fees stated only that the bills would be specifically related to the SEC investigation. ... 

In This Issue
California School Builders Gather Signatures for Nov. 2016 Bond Measure
FBI Pursuing Alligations Against WCCUSD
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May 8, 2015, Friday   

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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