Bond Oversite Committee
Measure I was placed on the November 2, 2010 ballot under the terms of California Constitution Article XIII, which was amended by Proposition 39 to permit school districts to issue general obligation bonds with a 55% vote. Measure I passed with over 55% of the vote. Measure I approves the sale of $23.8 million in bonds to fund improvement of District facilities, as stipulated in the Measure I voter pamphlet. The District must meet the accountability requirements of Proposition 39 in managing the Measure I general obligation bond program.
As required by law, the District created a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) within 60 days of the date that the governing board certified the election results. The Board certified the election results on December 15, 2010, and adopted operating by-laws for the Committee on January 12, 2011. The District sent letters to numerous organizations and had a notice in the newspaper to solicit applications for candidates interested in serving on the CBOC.
The general purpose of the Committee is to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The specific functions of the Committee are to:
- 1. Actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction.
- 2. Advise the public as to whether the District is in compliance with the Section 1(b)(3) of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution.
- 3. Provide oversight for both of the following:(a) Ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the purposes described in Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), and(b) Ensuring that no funds are used for any teacher or administrative salaries or other school operating expenses.
- 4. Issue regular reports on the results of activities, at least once a year.
Education Code Section 15278 requires that the committee consist of at least 7 members, in the following classifications: 1 member must be an active member of the business community, 1 member must be active in a senior citizens’ organization, 1 member must be active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization, 1 member must be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district, 1 member must be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district and active in a parent-teacher organization, and 2 members are at-large members. No employee or officer of the District may serve on the CBOC, nor any vendor, contractor or consultant of the District.
Appointment of Members by District Board of Trustees
Applications for appointment to the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee are widely solicited from the public when Committee vacancies occur. Two District Trustees and the Superintendent review candidate applications and recommend candidates to the Board for appointment to the CBOC. The District Board of Trustees appoints individuals to serve two-year terms on the Measure I Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee.
Committee Duties and Functions
Reporting Requirements for the School District. Proposition 39, which amended Article XIII of the California Constitution to permit school districts and community college districts to issue general obligation bonds with a 55% vote, requires District that pass Proposition 39 bonds to:
- “… conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the funds have been expended only on the specific projects listed.”
- “… 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 school facilities projects.”
These audits must be prepared by an organization which is independent of the district. Although some districts ask the CBOC to conduct the audits, most districts hire a professional firm to prepare the audits. The purpose of the first audit is to review what facilities the bond proceeds have been spent on, relative to the description of authorized facilities contained in the ballot measure. The purpose of the second audit is to review how the bond proceeds have been spent, including a review of the amount and purpose of individual expenditures.
Duties of the Committee. Sections 15278 through 15282 of the California Education Code state that the purpose of the Committee is “to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues.” This is a general statement which does not dictate the specific functions of the Committee. The specific mandatory functions of the Committee are set forth in the Education Code as follows:
- Actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction.
- Advise the public as to whether the District is in compliance with the Section 1(b)(3) of Article XIIIA.
- Provide oversight for both of the following:(a) Ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the purposes described in Article XIIIA, Section 1(b)(3), and(b) Ensuring that no funds are used for any teacher or administrative salaries or other school operating expenses.(c) Issue regular reports on the results of activities, at least once a year.
In order to discharge its duties, the Committee must review the annual performance audit and the annual financial audit which the District is required to provide under Article XIII as cited above. It is expected that the annual performance audit and the annual financial audit will provide sufficient information for the Committee to discharge its remaining duties listed under categories 1 and 3 above.
For more information, please contact:
Steven Kellner, WSCUHSD Superintendent
462 Johnson Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472