Thursday, June 26, 2014

(Orange County) Cypress School District responds to grand jury report

June 25, 2014
Orange County Breeze
By Shelley

Cypress School District (District) was recently identified in an Orange County Grand Jury report titled: School Bonds – The Untold Story of Assessed Values.
Our District is extremely grateful to the voters in our community for their support of the bond measure that funded our recent school modernization projects. The District takes its responsibility to the community very seriously. This means we not only serve our community as educators of students, but also as stewards of local bond dollars.
In November 2008, the Cypress School District community passed a General Obligation Bond measure (Measure M) which authorized the District to issue and sell bonds of up to $53,600,000 in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for specific facilities improvements, which included the modernization of our six elementary schools.
Our schools were approximately 50 years old and in deplorable condition before the modernization projects. Our community met this need straight on with a 69.2% voter approval of the bond measure. Because of our community’s support, five of our six schools have been successfully modernized today. This in spite of very little financial support by our State government.
State law sets several conditions which limit how school districts may issue general obligation debt. Statutory authority for how school districts are authorized to issue their own General Obligation Bonds is established by Education Code Sections 15100 and following and California Government Code section 53506 and following. Cypress School District has fully complied with these conditions and has a current (2014) annual tax rate being levied upon taxable property of $24.83 per year per $100,000 of assessed value, which is less than the projected taxing threshold of $30 per year per $100,000 of assessed value.
Cypress School District is committed to ensuring the fiscal health of the District and providing public accountability. As stated, State law sets the conditions under which any school district can issue general obligation debt. This includes direct oversight by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). The District has met with OCDE several times and continues to regularly communicate with members of their staff. Furthermore, the District utilizes its own District and Bond counsel to ensure that all State laws are met. Lastly, as required by law, the District has established a Citizens Oversight Committee to ensure that all bond proceeds are utilized only for the specific projects listed in the Measure M Bond Measure and that no funds are used for teacher or administrator salaries (or other school operating expenses).
Cypress School District again thanks our community for their support of the modernization of our school facilities. We are making a positive difference each and every day for our students and generations to come!
The article above was released by Cypress School District.
Editor’s note: the Orange County Grand Jury report can be found at in pdf format.

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