2016 Bond Authorization

Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District

Information About Measure C

Question: Why is Measure C on the ballot this November?

The first phase of projects using Measure B funds were completed, or are in the plan approval stage, so the board approved conducting a feasibility study to see if this was the right time to move to phase 2. Based on the results of the study, which included polling, community support has never been higher for our schools. We believe this is due in part to our improvements in facilities and instruction. The feasibility study showed assessed valuation in the district the last two years has grown above the district’s conservative projections as well. It was determined that the November 2016 ballot would be very favorable.

 

Question: Was it known there would be more than one bond measure back in 2014? What if there was only one measure?

Our district undertook an extensive facilities master planning process in 2013, which identified over $240 million in critical repairs and updates needed at our district schools. An extensive feasibility study was conducted that determined the best approach was to divide the authorization for the needed funding into phases. This was known in 2014 and has been a part of all Board of Trustees discussions as projects were approved. The plan for developing and scheduling projects was based on this phased approach. If there are not three phases then some projects may need to be reprioritized or delayed due to a lack of funding. 

 

Question: If Measure C passes, when would the next bond measure be put to the voters?

Each potential measure would be analyzed through a feasibility study and require approval from the Board of Trustees to move forward. At this time, it is not anticipated that the next measure would be sooner than 2020.

 

Question: Is there an oversight committee for Measure B? If so, would the same committee oversee Measure C?

The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee meets four times per year and has responsibility to oversee the expenditure of bond funds to ensure compliance with the adopted election resolution. The meetings are public and all agendas are posted. The committee prepares an annual report, which is delivered at the December Board of Trustees Meeting, and ensures the bond program is audited. The application for anyone to join the committee is posted online and applications are accepted at any time. By law no employee of the district can be on the committee. The same committee will oversee the expenditure of Measure C funds.

 

Question: How are projects prioritized?

All projects are discussed and debated by the district facilities committee and the Board of Trustees. A standing item is on every board agenda to discuss program implementation. All of the projects place a priority on creating safe learning environments for our students. We have replaced aging buildings, aging portables, aging heating and cooling systems, inadequate lighting and completed extensive major repair work.

 

The focus in our district is to ensure we stay true to our vision that all students are entitled to a successful education, our focus is learning and we are a team. A key part of this is making sure we provide our students and teachers with the safe, modern facilities they need to learn and teach.

 

Question: How are bond funds collected and paid?

The Sonoma County Treasurer/Tax Collector collects the property taxes for all districts in the county. The portion of property taxes collected to pay the interest and principal of the bonds is put in a separate fund called the Bond Interest and Redemption fund. The district has no access to these funds. The County Treasurer/Tax Collector decides how much to collect and makes the payments when they are due. In this county the Treasurer is conservative and builds a reserve for the next year’s payments.

 

Question: How does Measure C impact the General Fund? Is there risk to the General Fund?

Without bond funds, the General Fund is completely responsible for major maintenance and capital facility outlays. By having bond funds, the district can use the General Fund to meet current obligations and build reserves for the future. There is no risk the General Fund would have to repay the bonds and the district has a 36-year track record of successful bond program implementation.

 

Question: How much interest is paid on the bonds?

An official Tax Rate Statement was included with Resolution 1516-34 that called for the election and will appear in the sample ballot.

TRS

Question: How will Measure C impact families and district enrollment?

The number one value families list when making housing decisions is the strength of the local schools. Evidence shows, over time, families are more than willing to pay a premium to ensure they live in a school district that will educate their children for success in life.

 

Question: Can Measure C impact the district’s parcel tax?

There is no connection between bond authorizations, debt service and the parcel tax. They are separate by law and each have their own regulations and oversight. The parcel tax is scheduled to be collected through June 2025.

 

Question: Are there other solutions the district can use to meet major capital facility needs? What about a parcel tax for facilities?

School bond programs have been the funding source for capital facilities projects in California for over a century. Developers of new housing pay fees to mitigate the impact of increased population on school facilities, but these fees are not intended to implement the facilities master plan, nor are they enough to do so.

Parcel taxes do not raise anywhere near the funding level needed to do major construction projects. For instance, since its passage in 2012, the district’s parcel tax has brought in approximately $6,000,000, all of it going to support current ongoing needs (full expenditure reports are available on the district’s website).

 
How are Cotati and Rohnert Park schools doing?

 

We are proud to provide a strong education for our students in Cotati and Rohnert Park with academic programs that will prepare them for college and careers. The gains our students have made in test scores are reflective of our rigorous academic curriculum, highly skilled teachers and continued community support.

 

I am concerned about the growing enrollment at my school. How would Measure C help?

Thanks to improved academic programs and growing student achievement, we are retaining students and attracting new families to our schools. Measure C would allow the District to provide sufficient classrooms, science labs and school libraries to prevent overcrowding in our schools.

 

How would Measure C contribute to a 21st-century education for Cotati and Rohnert Park students?

In Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, we know that a modern education is the key to our students’ success in the 21st century. Measure C would update classrooms, science labs and libraries to meet modern academic and educational standards. This would enable the District to prepare our students for college and today’s competitive job market.

 

Would Measure C save money for the District by increasing energy efficiency?

Yes. Repairing 40-year-old classrooms, replacing aging heating and air conditioning systems and cutting utility bills has already saved the district more than $200,000. Other bond-funded projects to increase energy efficiency would continue to save the District money, enabling the District to redirect those funds into the classroom directly to support teaching and core academic programs.

 

Is there any other way to upgrade and improve safety in our schools?

Our district has very few options when it comes to making the necessary renovations and upgrades to our local schools. We can’t rely on the State to complete these repairs. A local school repair funding measure like Measure C would provide the local control necessary to complete the prioritized projects to provide a safe and modern learning environment for our students. To continue offering a high-quality education for local students and to prepare them for success in our high-tech 21st-century economy, this measure is necessary.

 

When can I vote on Measure C?

Measure C will appear on the ballot in the November 8, 2016 election. Absentee voters should expect to receive their ballots in the mail the week of October 10.

 

Who is eligible to vote on Measure C?

All registered voters within the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District boundaries will be eligible to vote on Measure C.

 

When is the deadline to register to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in this election is Monday, October 24. To register to vote, please visit www.registertovote.ca.gov.

 

When is the deadline to request to vote by mail?

The deadline to request to vote by mail in this election is Tuesday, November 1. To request to vote by mail, visit vote.sonoma-county.org/content.aspx?sid=1009&id=1052#VBM_application.

 

How do I know if I am registered to vote?

If you are unsure if you are registered to vote or do not receive your absentee ballot the week of October 10, please contact the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters at (707) 565-6800 or visit vote.sonoma-county.org.

 

How do I find my polling place?

To find your polling place, visit vote.sonoma-county.org and click on “Polling Place & Sample Ballot Lookup” on the left side under “Voter Information Lookup.”

 

How many votes are required for Measure C to pass?

Measure C must be supported by 55% of those who vote on it in order to pass.

 

Please visit www.crpusd.org or contact Superintendent, Dr. Robert Haley

or call (707) 792-4722 with any questions. 
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