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A California Community Organization for Artesia, Cerritos and Surrounding Areas
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United HOA
16407 Greenlake Lane
Cerritos, CA 90703
ID #1293711

Facilities Master Plan and Bond Measure

The ABC school board approved a $635 million Facilities Master Plan on July 8, and a $195 million bond measure on July 15.

Latest Developments

  • September 9 - According to ABC teachers' union ABCFT's blogspot ABCTeachernews, a campaign kick-off meeting in favor of Measure AA was held on Sept 9 in Artesia DES Hall. It was sponsored by a group known as "Yes on Measure AA for ABC's Schools". ABC School Board members Maynard Law, Celia Spitzer, District official Toan Nguyen, ABCFT President Ray Gaer, many principals and other District employees attended the meeting. The following photo was posted on twitter the following day by President Gaer, with the caption "ABC COMMUNITY RALLIES @ measure AA Bond working for 21st century ABC schools."

  • August 15 - A group of current or former elected officials and citizens submitted a ballot statement arguing in favor the bond measure. It was signed by former Cerritos Mayor Sherman Kappe, Hawaiian Gardens City Council member Michael Gomez, Anna Titus, Cheri Luo, Cynthia Corrales. Here is a copy of the ballot statement that was submitted.

  • August 12 - A group of current or former elected or appointed officials submitted a ballot statement arguing against the bond measure. It was signed by Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Carol Chen, Artesia Mayor Tony Lima, former ABC school board member James Kang, ABCUSD Technology Committee members James Yee and Frank Simon. Here is a copy of the ballot statement that was submitted.

  • August 8 - According to ABC school district's schedule, the bond measure was submitted to the LA County Registrar's office, along with a ballot statement and a request for measure letter.

Chain of Events

According to the July 15 presentation, here is the chain of events that led to the school board's approval of the FMP and bond measure. No public input is sought anywhere in these events. Rather, special firms have been hired to provide "pre-election services", etc., which is a typical example of the potentially illegal "pay to play" practice.

The Facilities Master Plan

According to the official ABCUSD website, "The Master Plans represent a long term vision of the improvements required to move all ABC schools into the 21st Century." It consists of three categories, namely,

A: Basic/Critical Facility Needs,
B: Educational Program Needs/21st Century Learning Environments, and
C: Facility Improvement and Enhancement not covered under A or B.

The district says this master plan "is based on input of students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, and community members" through "needs assessment and community engagement" meetings "conducted in the District from April 8 - June 18, 2014."

However, the "Process and Timeline" section of the July 15 presention says "assess and solicit input from administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students for the Facilities Master Plan". According to that, the "community members" were clearly not involved.

Over the July 4 weekend, exactly two business days before the scheduled election by the school board, the district posted on their website the Facilities Master Plan in three installments, i.e.

    Elementary Schools_07-01.pdf
    Middle, High, & Adult Schools_07-01.pdf
    District Support Facilities_07-01.pdf

There was also a Powerpoint presentation for the July 8 board meeting, but we can no longer locate that document. Here is a list of projects for each school extracted from the FMP.

The Bond Measure

To partially fund the FMP, the school district proposed a $235 million bond measure. The assumption is the bond will be issued in 3 series: 2015, 2018 and 2021 and will have a 30-year amortization with a 4.5% interest rate. If approved, taxpayers will pay $60 per $100,000 of the assessed value of their property, which is the maximum amount permissable by Prop 39.

The size of the bond measure was reduced to $195 million at the July 15 board meeting, minutes before it was put to a vote by the school board. If it passes the November election, taxpayers will pay $50 per $100,000 of the assessed value of their property. Also, it's not clear how the rest of the FMP will be funded, or whether there will be a second or even third bond measure in the future.


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