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September 25, 2017
New Issues Arise in Alum Rock School District's Bond Oversight Bylaws 
Sept. 20, 2017 | By The Fly|   
Voters in Alum Rock Union Elementary School District have passed $444 million in construction bonds since 2008. But the district's inability to manage its bond-funded projects has led to a damning state audit, an investigation by the county District Attorney's Office and a financial takeover by the Santa Clara County Office of Education.  
     Raymond Mueller, a parent who monitors two of the past three bond measures as chair of Alum Rock's Citizens' Oversight Committee, says he unearthed yet another symptom of dysfunction. The committee's bylaws were apparently penned in a way that undermines its state-mandated authority to keep the district's bond spending in check.  
    It's basically a watchdog with no teeth. At least, so says Anton Jungherr, a member of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CalBOC), who spoke at Mueller's committee meeting Monday night in his individual capacity as a lifelong school administrator.  
    "The committee cannot meet when they want to meet, the committee members can be removed for any reason by the school board, they can't have subcommittees and they can't talk to vendors, staff or contractors," Jungherr tells Fly. "So I don't see how they could be independent, which is required by law."...
    Jungherr, who co-founded CalBOC with David Ginsborg, says it's all too common for school districts to undermine citizen watchdog groups, which, according to a 2017 report by the Little Hoover Commission, have overseen a combined $138 billion in local facilities bonds in California since 2000.... 
California School & Community College District Bond Legislation Update
July 18, 2017 | By Lee Barnathan |
EXCERPT: ...  
Senate Bill 7 (Moorlach), which would require a school or community college district bond measure be supported by a facilities master plan with cost estimates, and that any measure specify each planned project and the named school or college campus of the project.
Assembly Bill 776 (Harper), which, as amended, would require the bond ballot statement for school and community college district bond measures to include text directing voters to the voter information guide for information about the bond's effects on property taxes. 
Assembly Bill 1196 (Harper), which, as amended, would require that the weighted average maturity of school and community college district general obligation bonds used to finance furniture and equipment not exceed 120% of the average reasonably expected life expectancy of the financed furniture and equipment. 
Assembly Bill 1253 (Cooley), which, as amended, would, among other things, require a county office of education, at the request of a citizens' oversight committee, review a school district's employment of a professional firm, including, but not limited to, a financial adviser, underwriter, bond counsel, underwriter counsel, or trustee, or of a construction contractor for the facilities to be funded from the proceeds of the bond issue.  ...
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Watchdog Blasts Pasadena Unified Over How Its Spending Bond Money, With Some Uses 'Clearly Illegal'
Sept. 11, 2017 | By Hayley Munguia|  
EXCERPT:  The Pasadena Unified School District has been improperly spending voter-approved bond funds, according to Clifton Cates, chair of the district's citizens oversight committee. ...    State law requires school districts to create independent oversight committees, such as the one Cates chairs, to ensure government bonds are spent appropriately. Bond funds must be spent on projects that a school district outlines in the bond's original ballot measure. ...
    While expenses that include legal fees and staff salaries may be paid for work that directly relates to those projects, Cates claims many of these expenses don't meet that requirement.
    Cates said the committee has brought up these concerns to PUSD, but district administration has not responded adequately. He said the only way the committee has been able to get sufficient information from the district has been through public records requests, a legal process that requires government bodies to provide information to the public.
    "It's ironic that a Pasadena entity, the oversight committee, can't get the information it needs by request," Cates said. ... 
In This Issue
New Issues Arise in Alum Rock School District
California School District Bond Legislation Update
Watchdog Blasts Pasadena Unified Over How Its Spending Bond Money
Archived Newsletters
2017 6th Annual CaLBOC  
Bond Oversight Basics 
Presentations and Handouts: 

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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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Court Sides With District Employee Who Balked at
Order to Purge Emails
ISSUE 114 - July 11, 2017
- State Puts Fiscal Oversight over Alum Rock Schools  
- State Superintendent Political Ties with Alum Rock Contractor
- Mello Roos Property Tax
Lacks Oversight
- The Untold Story Behind the Sweetwater Schools Scandal
- Alum Rock Bond Review
- School Bond Watchdogs
- Field Turf & 1,000 lbs Glue
- Conference Agenda
- Alum Rock, Non-existent Construction?
Conference Keynote Speaker
- Little Hoover Commission Report Flaws in Oversight
California League of Bond Oversight Committees -