RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ORDERING A SCHOOL BOND ELECTION ON MARCH 3, 2020 AND AUTHORIZING NECESSARY ACTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH
ON MOTION of Member Judy Appel; seconded by Member Ty Alper, the following Resolution is adopted:
WHEREAS, Berkeley Unified School District (“District”) is committed to providing a quality education to local students and preparing them to succeed in today’s competitive economy; and
WHEREAS, whether local students are planning to go on to college or directly into the workforce, they need skills to use today’s technologies and a solid background in science, math and technology so they can excel in college and well-paying jobs; and
WHEREAS, many of our schools are 50-75 years old and deteriorating, and even schools 20 years old require upgrades; and
WHEREAS, removing or replacing aging portable classrooms that are expensive to repair and maintain with the right number of safe, modern classrooms needed for students is a high priority for the District; and
WHEREAS, it is time to make essential repairs and improvements so our schools can continue to serve our community well for decades to come; and
WHEREAS, the District is conducting a thorough Facilities Master Planning process with input from parents, teachers, staff, students, principals and members of the community to identify the upgrades needed at each school site in order to meet basic safety and accessibility standards, to continue supporting academic achievement, and to address specific priorities at individual school sites; and
WHEREAS, the District believes that completing the identified upgrades like repair or replacing deteriorating roofs, plumbing, sewer lines and electrical systems where needed will enable the District to ensure that all local students receive instruction in 21st century classrooms, labs, technology and school facilities that support modern curriculum, provide a well-rounded education, and give students the skills they need for college and the competitive global economy; and
WHEREAS, the District recognizes the need to transform classrooms, labs, instructional technology and educational facilities to support engaging, hands-on learning experiences in subjects including science, engineering and math; and
WHEREAS, making schools more energy efficient and reducing the use of electricity, water and other resources will improve environmental sustainability and reduce utility bills, thereby creating savings that can be used to protect the quality of core academic classroom programs like math, science, reading and writing; and
WHEREAS, the cost of identified upgrades and improvements is beyond the scope of the District’s current operating budget and passing this bond measure provides a guaranteed source of local funding to maintain and improve this community’s local school facilities; and
WHEREAS, a bond measure will benefit local schools and no funds can be taken away by the State or other school districts, and by law, no money can be used for teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses, including raises or pensions; and
WHEREAS, a bond measure would qualify our schools for millions in state matching funds that would otherwise go to other school districts; and
WHEREAS, a bond measure requires strict fiscal accountability protections including mandatory annual audits and an independent citizens’ bond oversight committee comprised of local residents to ensure funds are managed and spent properly; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education (“Board”) is authorized to order elections within the District and to designate the specifications thereof, pursuant to Sections 5304 and 5322 of the California Education Code (“Education Code”); and
WHEREAS, the Board is specifically authorized to order elections for the purpose of submitting to the electors the question of whether bonds of the District shall be issued and sold for the purpose of raising money for the purposes hereinafter specified, pursuant to Section 15100 et seq. of the Education Code; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to section 18 of Article XVI and section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution (also known as “Proposition 39”), and Section 15266 of the Education Code, school districts may seek approval of general obligation bonds and levy an ad valorem tax to repay those bonds upon a fifty-five percent (55%) vote of those voting on a proposition for that purpose, provided certain accountability measures are included in the proposition; and
WHEREAS, the Board deems it necessary and advisable to submit such a bond proposition to the electors to be approved by fifty-five percent (55%) of the votes cast; and
WHEREAS, such a bond election must be conducted concurrent with a statewide primary election, general election or special election, or at a regularly scheduled local election, as required by Section 15266 of the Education Code, and on March 3, 2020, a general election is scheduled to occur throughout the District; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 15270 of the Education Code, if the proposition is approved by the voters, bonds may only be issued if the tax rate levied to meet the debt service requirements would not exceed statutory maximum dollar amounts per year per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of assessed value of taxable property, when assessed valuation is projected by the District to increase in accordance with Article XIIIA of the California Constitution, and the current estimated and projected tax rate is well below said limits, as described in the Tax Rate Statement contained in Exhibit C hereto; and
WHEREAS, Section 9400 et seq. of the California Elections Code requires that a tax rate statement be contained in all official materials, including any ballot pamphlet prepared, sponsored or distributed by the District, relating to the election; and
WHEREAS, in the judgment of the Board, it is advisable to request that the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (“County Registrar”) act as the election official and call an election and submit to the registered voters of the District the full ballot proposition as detailed below, in coordination with each other as necessary; and
WHEREAS, the Board now desires to authorize the filing of a ballot argument in favor of the proposition to be submitted to the voters at the election.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, determined and ordered by the Board of Education of the Berkeley Unified School District as follows:
Section 1. Specifications of Election Order. Pursuant to Sections 5304, 5322, 15100 et seq., and Section 15266 of the Education Code, an election shall be held within the District on March 3, 2020, for the purpose of submitting to the registered voters of the District the full ballot proposition contained in Exhibit B (“Full Ballot Text”), which Full Ballot Text is hereby approved. The County Registrar shall provide for the performance of its duties in accordance with Education Code section 5303.
Section 2. Abbreviation of Proposition/Ballot Label. Pursuant to Sections 13119 and 13247 of the California Elections Code and Section 15122 of the Education Code, the Board hereby directs the County Registrar to use the abbreviation of the Full Ballot Text (“Ballot Label”) that is selected by the Superintendent of the District and filed herewith as Exhibit A. The Ballot Label shall function merely as an abbreviation of the Full Ballot Text and does not stand alone as a complete and binding statement of the proposition, nor is it possible for the Ballot Label to contain all of the project and financial information a voter might wish to consider in casting a vote. Voters are urged to review the Full Ballot Text and the Tax Rate Statement to obtain a complete understanding of the proposition, including all of the financial projections and estimates upon which the proposition is based.
Section 3. Voter Pamphlet. The County Registrar is hereby requested to reprint the Full Ballot Text in its entirety in the voter information pamphlet to be distributed to voters pursuant to Section 13307 of the Elections Code. In the event the Full Ballot Text is not reprinted in the voter information pamphlet in its entirety, the County Registrar is hereby requested to print, immediately below the impartial analysis of the bond proposition, in no less than 10-point boldface type, a legend substantially as follows:
“The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure . If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.”
Section 4. Accountability Measures. Pursuant to legal requirements, and as specified in the Full Ballot Text, the Board certifies that the District:
- Has evaluated the facilities needs of the District and has evaluated safety, class size reduction (including enrollment trends and classroom capacity) and information technology needs, among other needs, in developing the Bond Project List contained in the Full Ballot Text;
- Will establish an independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to ensure that bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List, in accordance with Education Code section 15278 et seq. and board resolutions, policies and procedures;
- Will conduct or cause to be conducted an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List;
- Will conduct or cause to be conducted an annual independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List; and
- Shall take all actions to establish an account in which proceeds of the sale of the bonds will be deposited, and to cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than each December 31 identifying proceeds received and expended in the past fiscal year and the status of any project funded or to be funded with bond proceeds. The first report shall be due no later than December 31 of the first year after which bonds have been issued and some proceeds
Section 5. Required Vote. Pursuant to Section 18 of Article XVI and Section 1 of Article XIII A of the State Constitution, the above proposition shall become effective upon the affirmative vote of at least fifty-five percent (55%) of those voters voting on the proposition.
Section 6. Request to County Officers to Conduct Election/Cost of Election. The County Registrar is hereby requested, pursuant to section 5322 of the California Education Code, to take all steps to call and hold the election in accordance with law and these specifications. The District will reimburse the Registrar and the County for costs associated with the election as required by law.
Section 7. Consolidation of Election and Canvass of Vote.
- Pursuant to Section 15266(a) of the Education Code, the election shall be consolidated with the election on March 3,
- The Board of Supervisors of Alameda County is authorized and requested to canvass the returns of the election, as necessary, pursuant to Section 10411 of the California Elections
Section 8. Delivery of Order of Election to County Officers. The Clerk of the Board is hereby directed to deliver or cause to be delivered, no later than December 6, 2019, (which date is 88 days prior to the date set for the election), one copy of this Resolution to the County Registrar with the completed Tax Rate Statement (in substantially the form attached hereto as Exhibit C), completed and signed by the Superintendent or her designee, and shall file a copy of this Resolution with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County.
Section 9. Ballot Arguments. The members of the Board are hereby authorized to prepare and file with the County Registrar a ballot argument or rebuttal argument in favor of the proposition, within the time established by the County Registrar.
Section 10. Intention to Reimburse. The District may incur costs associated with bond-funded projects described in Exhibit B hereto prior to the issuance of bonds. For purposes of establishing compliance with the requirements of Section 1.150-2 of the regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Board hereby declares its official intent to use proceeds of the bond to reimburse itself for lawful expenditures on capital projects described on the Bond Project List, up to a maximum principal amount of $380 million.
Section 11. Further Authorization. The members of this Board, the Superintendent, and the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services of the District (each, a “District Representative”) are hereby authorized and directed, individually and collectively, to do any and all things that they deem necessary or advisable in order to effectuate the purposes of this Resolution, including non-substantive modification of the Full Ballot Text, the Ballot Label, and Tax Rate Statement if he or she determines such modifications are necessary and in the District’s best interests. This Resolution and all of its Exhibits that are filed with the County Registrar by a District Representative shall constitute the final, binding ballot proposition of the District and such submitted proposition shall be deemed ratified and approved by the Board.
Section 12. Effective Date. This Resolution shall take effect upon its adoption.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this day, November 20, 2019, by the following vote: AYES:
President of the Board of Education of the Berkeley Unified School District
Dr. Brent Stephens
Clerk of the Board of Education of the Berkeley Unified School District
To improve school facilities, construct/ modernize classrooms and campuses, complete seismic upgrades, construct science labs/ career technical education facilities, upgrade furnishings, equipment, technology, renovate playgrounds, improve energy efficiency, and qualify for State grants, shall the Berkeley Unified School District adopt a measure authorizing $380,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, generating approximately $21,347,300 annually at an average rate of 4.45 cents per $100 while bonds are outstanding, with independent citizen and auditor oversight and all funds remaining local?
Bonds – Yes Bonds – No
Full bond measure text can be found at www.berkeleyschools.net/2020-bond
TAX RATE STATEMENT
An election will be held within the boundaries of the Berkeley Unified School District (“District”) on March 3, 2020 to authorize the sale of up to $380,000,000 in general obligation bonds. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to sell the bonds in multiple series. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property located within the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 to 9404, inclusive, of the California Elections Code.
- The best estimate from official sources of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of the election or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors, is estimated to be 5 cents per $100 ($45.00 per $100,000). The final fiscal year in which the tax is anticipated to be collected is 2057/58.
- The best estimate from official sources of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on assessed valuations available at the time of filing this statement or a projection based on experience within the same jurisdiction or other demonstrable factors, is estimated to be 5.9 cents per $100 ($59.00 per $100,000) of assessed valuation, which is projected to occur in fiscal years 2025/26 through 2028/29.
- 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, will be approximately $811,197,389, considering the assumptions set forth in sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) above. [This estimate results in a debt service ratio of 2.13 to 1, which is less than the maximum ratio of 4.0 to 1 allowed by Education Code Section 15144.1.]
If the bonds are approved, the duration of the tax levy shall continue until final payment of all bonds issued pursuant to the authorization. The tax shall be levied in an amount each year sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on all outstanding bonds issued pursuant to the authorization. Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the Alameda County official tax rolls, not on the property’s market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.
Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that while the foregoing information includes conservative projections and estimates of assessed value, market interest rates, and the timing and amount of bonds issued in the future, the District will only issue bonds if the tax rate is at or below the maximum set forth above. The Alameda County Assessor is responsible for determining assessed value, the Alameda County Auditor-Controller is responsible for setting tax rates, and the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector is responsible for the collection of taxes. The actual tax rates may vary over time based on changes in assessed value, and actual debt service may vary based on market interest rates and the timing of when the bonds are issued. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on bond market conditions at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process. The District is responsible for the timing and amount of bonds to be issued, which the District will only undertake if tax rates meet the parameters set forth in the above tax rate statement.
Brent Stephens, Ed.D, Superintendent