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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Riverside Unified School District
Measure O Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

57,347 votes yes (70.44%)

24,064 votes no (29.56%)

100% of precincts reporting (84/84).

81,411 ballots counted.

To repair and upgrade Riverside schools, including deteriorating roofs, plumbing and electrical systems, improve student safety, security, and seismic safety, upgrade classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities, computer systems and instructional technology to support student achievement in math, science, engineering and skilled trades, and construct, acquire, repair classrooms, sites, facilities and equipment, shall Riverside Unified School District issue $392 million in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, all money staying local?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Deputy County Counsel

The Board of Education (“Board”) of the Riverside Unified School District (“District”) by adopting Resolution No. 2015/2016-56 (“Resolution”), elected to call an election pursuant to Section 18 of Article XVI and Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and Section 15100 and 15624 et seq. of the California Education Code to obtain authorization to issue and sell general obligation Bonds (“Bonds”) in the aggregate amount principal amount of three hundred and ninety two millions dollars ($392,000,000).

This Measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of the District.

The Bonds may used by the District to repair and upgrade District schools by upgrading or replacing aging school infrastructure, classrooms and buildings, modernize school facilities with 21st century technology, improve access for students with disabilities, provide classroom and labs for career and technical education classes. The Bonds may be used to improve school safety by modernizing security systems, retrofitting buildings to be earthquake proof, and upgrading emergency communications. The Bonds may also be used to Districtwide technology improvements for updated instruction technology in classrooms and labs and upgraded computer systems. The Bonds would not be used to fund the salaries, pensions or benefits of any board members, administrator, and/or teachers or for other school operating expenses.

If Measure O is approved, the Board of the District will appoint a citizens’ oversight committee, and conduct annual independent financial and performance audits to assure that bond funds are spent only on the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, and for no other purposes.

An ad valorem tax would be levied and collected on property within the boundaries of the District to pay the principal and interest on the Bonds.

The Resolution provides that the maximum interest rate on the Bonds will not exceed the maximum statutory interest rate set by statute and the maximum term of the Bonds, or any series thereof, will not exceed the statutory maximum period. The best estimate for the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the Bonds are issued and sold is seven hundred and five millions dollars ($705,000,000).

For this Measure to be approved fifty-five percent (55%) of qualified voters who vote on the Measure must vote yes.

A “YES” vote on Measure “O” is a vote to allow the District to sell the Bonds and levy the necessary taxes to pay for the Bonds.

A “NO” vote on Measure “O” is a vote against allowing the District to sell the Bonds and levy the necessary taxes to pay for the Bonds.

By: Ronak N. Patel, Deputy County Counsel

Tax rate

Riverside County Registrar of Voters

TAX RATE STATEMENT
REGARDING PROPOSED
$392,000,000
RIVERSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

     An election will be held in Riverside Unified School District (the “District”) on November 8, 2016 for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the District the question of issuing bonds of the District in the principal amount of $392 million. If such bonds are authorized and sold, the principal thereof and interest thereon will be payable from the proceeds of taxes levied on the taxable property in the District. The following information regarding tax rates is given to comply with Section 9401 of the California Elections Code. This information is based upon the best estimates and projections presently available from official sources, upon experience within the District and other demonstrable factors.

Based upon the foregoing and projections of the assessed valuations of taxable property in the District, and assuming the entire debt service on the bonds will be paid through property taxation:

     1.     The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the first sale of the bonds, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.059 per $100 ($59.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed for the year 2017-18.

     2.     The best estimate from official sources of the tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue during the first fiscal year after the last sale of the bonds and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.059 per $100 ($59.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed and the year 2025-26.

     3.     The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund the bond issue and an estimate of the year in which that rate will apply, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of the filing of this statement, or on a projection based on experience within the District or other demonstrable factors, is $0.059 per $100 ($59.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation of all property to be taxed, which is projected to be the same in every fiscal year that the bonds remain outstanding.

     4.     The best estimate from official sources of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all the bonds are issued and sold is $705 million.

Attention of voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon projections and estimates. The actual timing of sales of the bonds and the amount to be sold at any time will be governed by the needs of the District and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold, which will not exceed the maximum permitted by law, will depend upon the bond market at the time of sale. The actual assessed valuations in future years will depend upon the value of property within the District as determined in the assessment and the equalization process. Therefore, the actual tax rates and the years in which those tax rates will be applicable may vary from those presently estimated and stated above.

By: Dr. David Hansen
      Superintendent
      Riverside Unified School District

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure O to provide locally-controlled funding so Riverside students are better prepared for college and good paying jobs in fields like health sciences, engineering, technology, robotics, and skilled trades.
Our students deserve to have the same educational opportunities as others in our region. Over 30 of our schools in Riverside were built more than 40 years ago, and five are more than 100 years old.

If we want our kids to succeed in college and careers, they must be skilled in the use of today’s technologies and have a solid background in science, engineering and math. Measure O will make essential repairs and improvements so that local schools can serve our community well for decades to come.

Measure O will:

·         Improve student safety and campus security systems

·         Repair or replace aging, outdated classrooms and school buildings

·         Provide classrooms and labs for career and technology education

·         (CTE) classes, including health sciences, engineering, technology, robotics and skilled trades

·         Improve access for students with disabilities

·         Retrofit older schools to enhance earthquake safety

·         Update instructional technology for modern teaching standards in core subjects like reading, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

·         Measure O ensures strict fiscal accountability:

·         All funds raised by Measure O will stay in Riverside to support our students

·         No funds for administrators’ and teachers salaries and benefits

·         A Citizens’ Oversight Committee and independent audits are required

·         All funds would support local students and could not be taken by the State

·         Measure O would qualify RUSD for millions of dollars in state matching funds that would otherwise go to other school districts

Strong schools make our community a desirable place to live, protecting and improving the value in our homes and quality of life.

Join parents, teachers, seniors, business leaders and many others — vote YES on Measure O. 

By:       John F. Tavaglione, Riverside County Supervisor

W.E. Rucker-Hughes, President, Riverside NAACP

Virginia Blumenthal, Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees

Matthew E. Webb, Business Owner

 

Gina Cheadle, Riverside Council PTA President

— Riverside County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENT FILED AGAINST MEASURE “O”

— Riverside County Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

The following is the full proposition presented to the voters by the Riverside Unified School District.

“To repair and upgrade Riverside schools, including deteriorating roofs, plumbing and electrical systems, improve student safety, security, and seismic safety, upgrade classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities, computer systems and instructional technology to support student achievement in math, science, engineering and skilled trades, and construct, acquire, repair classrooms, sites, facilities and equipment, shall Riverside Unified School District issue $392 million in bonds at legal rates, with citizen oversight, no money for administrator salaries, all money staying local?”

PROJECT LIST

The Board of Education of the Riverside Unified School District is committed to maintaining the quality of education in local schools with safe, secure, upgraded classrooms and labs for career and technology education to keep pace with 21st century technologies and learning standards. To that end, the Board evaluated the District’s urgent and critical facility needs, including safety issues, class size, computer and information technology, enrollment trends and prepared a Facilities Master Plan (approved by the Board on February 1, 2016) which is incorporated herein in its entirety, in developing the scope of projects to be funded. The District conducted a facilities evaluation and received public input in developing this Project List. Teachers, staff, community members and the Board have prioritized the key health and safety needs so that the most critical facility needs are addressed. The Board concluded that protecting the quality of our schools, the quality of life in our community, and the value of our homes is a wise investment. Therefore, in approving this Project List, the Board of Education determines that the District must:

(i)          Upgrade or replace aging school infrastructure, classrooms and school buildings; and

(ii)        Modernize school facilities to improve access for students with disabilities; and

(iii)       Retrofit older buildings so they are earthquake safe; and

(iv)       Provide classroom and labs for career and technical education classes so students are prepared for college and good-paying jobs in fields like health science, engineering, technology, robotics, and the skilled trades; and

(v)        Update instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like reading, math, science and technology; and

(vi)       Adhere to specific fiscal accountability safeguards such as:

(a)        All expenditures must be subject to annual independent financial audits.

(b)        No funds can be used for administrators’ salaries and pensions.

(c)        An independent citizens’ oversight committee must be appointed to ensure that all funds are spent only as authorized.

    The Project List includes the following types of upgrades and improvements at District schools and sites:

IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING: Basic School Repair and Upgrade Projects

Goals and Purposes: Upgraded classrooms wilI ensure that students who plan to go to college are prepared to succeed, and those that don’t plan to go to college receive career training they need to compete for good paying jobs in fields like health sciences, engineering, technology, robotics and skilled trades.

Since many Riverside schools were built more than 40-years ago, they need basic repairs, including roofs, plumbing and electrical systems, and other projects, including:

·                Upgrade and construct classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities and computer systems to keep pace with technology.

·                Repair or replace aging roofs, floors, plumbing and electrical systems where needed.

·                Repair or replace outdated classrooms and school buildings with safe, modern facilities.

·                Partner with U.C. Riverside and Riverside City College to build a Center for the Study of Advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, that will give local high school students access to college-level instruction.

·                Expand and upgrade existing libraries to improve students’ research skills and preparation for college.

·                Build new classrooms and facilities to relieve overcrowding.

·                Upgrade or construct facilities for visual and performing arts.

IMPROVING SCHOOL SAFETY: Safety, Security and Energy Efficiency Projects

Goal and Purpose: WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN, PROTECTING THE QUALITY OF OUR SCHOOLS, THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND THE VALUE OF OUR HOMES IS A WISE INVESTMENT. This measure will upgrade security lighting, fencing, smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers, and campus security systems for improved student safety. Schools will benefit from a variety of safety and efficiency projects, such as:

Student Safety and Security

·                Replace aging, outdated portables with modern classrooms that meet 21st century health, safety and academic standards.

·                Upgrade fire alarm systems to automatic systems, repair fire safety equipment, add smoke detectors and fire safety doors to make students safe in the event of an emergency.

·                Improve older schools so that they meet the same safety and academic standards as newer schools.

·                Retrofit older school buildings so they are earthquake safe.

·                Modernize school facilities to improve access for students with disabilities.

·                Improve student safety and campus security systems, including security, lighting, and security cameras and classroom door locks.

·                Upgrade emergency communication systems to improve student safety.

Energy Efficiency - Returning Savings to the Classroom

·                Make energy and water efficiency improvements that will free-up money to retain highly qualified teachers and improve the quality of classroom instruction.

21st CENTURY LEARNING FOR 21st CENTURY CAREERS: District-Wide Instructional Technology Projects

Goal and Purpose: If we want our kids to succeed in college and careers, they must be skilled in the use of today’s technologies and have a solid background in math, science, engineering and technology. This measure will update instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like reading, math, science and technology.

·                Update instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like reading, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

·                Upgrade classrooms and labs for career and technical education classes and computer systems to keep pace with technology.

·                Upgrade computer systems to keep pace with technology; upgrade and replace computers, classroom and library technology and teaching equipment to enhance instruction.

***

The listed projects will be completed as needed. Each project is assumed to include its share of furniture, equipment, architectural, engineering, and similar planning costs, program/project management, staff training expenses and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. In addition to the listed projects stated above, the Project List also includes the acquisition of a variety of instructional, maintenance and operational equipment, including the reduction or retirement of outstanding lease obligations and interim funding incurred to advance fund projects from the Project List; installation of signage and fencing; payment of the costs of preparation of all facility planning, facility studies, assessment reviews, facility master plan preparation and updates, environmental studies (including environmental investigation, remediation and monitoring), design and construction documentation, and temporary housing of dislocated District activities caused by construction projects. In addition to the projects listed above, the repair and renovation of each of the existing school facilities may include, but not be limited to, some or all of the following: renovate student and staff restrooms; repair and replace heating and ventilation systems; upgrade of facilities for energy efficiencies; acquire vehicles; repair and replace worn-out and deteriorated roofs, windows, walls, doors and drinking fountains; construct District office and professional development center; install wiring and electrical systems to safely accommodate computers, technology and other electrical devices and needs; upgrade or construct support facilities, including administrative, physical education (including upgrading or adding gyms, stadiums and locker rooms) and performing arts buildings and maintenance facilities and yards; repair and replace fire alarms, emergency communications and security systems; resurface or replace hard courts, turf and irrigation systems and campus landscaping; expand parking and drop-off areas; acquire land; construct new schools; upgrade interior and exterior painting and floor covering; demolition; upgrade pools; upgrade central kitchen and school cafeterias; construct various forms of storage and support spaces and classrooms; repair, upgrade and install interior and exterior lighting systems; improve playgrounds, athletic fields and play apparatus; replace outdated security fences and security systems (including access control systems), provide indoor space for assemblies or for rainy day lunch; upgrade music labs, media centers, adult education facilities. The upgrading of technology infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, computers, LCD projectors, portable interface devices, servers, switches, routers, modules, sound projection systems, laser printers, digital white boards, document projectors, upgrade voice-over-IP, call manager and network security/firewall, wireless technology systems, refresh classroom technology and other miscellaneous equipment. The allocation of bond proceeds will be affected by the District’s receipt of State matching funds and the final costs of each project. In the absence of State matching funds, which the District will aggressively pursue to reduce the District’s share of the costs of the projects, the District will not be able to complete some of the projects listed above. The budget for each project is an estimate and may be affected by factors beyond the District’s control. Some projects throughout the District, such as gyms, fields and performing arts facilities, may be undertaken as joint use projects in cooperation with other local public or non-profit agencies. The final cost of each project will be determined as plans and construction documents are finalized, construction bids are received, construction contracts are awarded and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed. Demolition of existing facilities and reconstruction of facilities scheduled for repair and upgrade may occur, if the Board determines that such an approach would be more cost-effective in creating more enhanced and operationally efficient campuses. Necessary site preparation/restoration may occur in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads, and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property. 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 bond projects. Bond proceeds shall only be expended for the specific purposes identified herein. The District shall create an account into which proceeds of the bonds shall be deposited and comply with the reporting requirements of Government Code § 53410.

FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY: IN ACCORDANCE WITH EDUCATION CODE SECTION 15272, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL APPOINT A CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE AND CONDUCT ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDITS TO ASSURE THAT FUNDS ARE SPENT ONLY ON DISTRICT PROJECTS AND FOR NO OTHER PURPOSE. THE EXPENDITURE OF BOND MONEY ON THESE PROJECTS IS SUBJECT TO STRINGENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS. BY LAW, PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL AUDITS WILL BE PERFORMED ANNUALLY, AND ALL BOND EXPENDITURES WILL BE MONITORED BY AN INDEPENDENT CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TO ENSURE THAT FUNDS ARE SPENT AS PROMISED AND SPECIFIED. THE CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MUST INCLUDE, AMONG OTHERS, REPRESENTATION OF A BONA FIDE TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION, A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION AND A SENIOR CITIZENS ORGANIZATION. NO DISTRICT EMPLOYEES OR VENDORS ARE ALLOWED TO SERVE ON THE CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.

NO ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES: PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE BONDS AUTHORIZED BY THIS PROPOSITION SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, REHABILITATION, OR REPLACEMENT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, INCLUDING THE FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, AND NOT FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE, INCLUDING TEACHER AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES AND OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES.

 

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