Our Position on ABCUSD Measure BB
The United Homeowners Alliance opposes ABCUSD's new school bond measure and urges all homeowners to
NO on Measure BB
, for the following reasons:
1. It's expensive -- The $258 million bond amount is the largest ever in the history of ABCUSD. It's
nearly $200 million more massive than the $59 million 1997 bond,
and it's more than that bond and the failed $195 million 2014 bond combined. The 1997 bond was supposed to
cost $90 million with interest and service fees, but ended up costing us $165 million, which is 280% the original
bond amount. At that ratio, the total cost of this new bond could be as high as $720 million. That would be a
huge tax liability for us and our children or grand children.
2. It's excessive -- We've been paying $30 per $100,000 assessed value each year for the last 20 years
for the 1997 bond. As of now, there is still a $105 million outstanding balance, for which we will continue to
pay until 2034. Now ABCUSD wants to add another $50 to our annual payment. This is inconsistent with the spirit
of the legal requirement per Prop 39 that the school bond a unified school district can issue must not exceed $60
per $100,000 assessed value.
3. It's overblown -- The $258 million amount is based on the estimated cost of the Facilities Master
Plan, but that plan contains over $61 million for items such as classroom furniture and finishes,
playground surfacing and equipment, etc., are not capital facilities that last, and therefore should not be
be paid for with bond money. Some of them have already been paid for. Others can also use alternative funding.
The District CFO admitted he could find $31 million such funding. In fact, millions of dollars have already
poured into the District in recent years. Instead of using those funds to fix our schools, the Board majority chose
to put all the funds into the payraises and bonuses for its staff, and tax us for every penny of the $258 million.
4. It's unspecific -- There is no specific capital facilities improvement plan that identifies what project
will be carried out when at which school for how much money. In fact the current scheme is to issue the bond in 4
series over a 10 year period. That might make financial sense, but most of our K-12 students will have graduated
before all the proposed facilities improvement becomes reality.
5. It's unethical -- Ever since the early 2000's, there has been a steady enrollment decline in the ABC
school district. Instead of closing schools that are no longer needed, as recommended by California Department of
Education, the District recruits thousands of students from outside of the District to fill up the vacant space.
According to the District's own
, a whopping 15.9% or 3,298 of the 20,740 K-12 students are from out of District. The District claims
those students are needed because they "generate funds from the state for the District", yet generating funds is not part of this District's
It's unethical to force us to invest on school facilities we no longer need for our own children.
6. It's unprotected -- As with sthe 1997 school bond, the District refuses to commit to proper maintenance
and longevity of the capital facilities funded with the bond money . This leaves open the possibility
that newly built facilities may run out of their useful life in a matter of 15 years or so, as is the case with
the Gahr High School Roofing. Our children will again be stuck
with dilapidated facilities and we property owners will again be asked to pony up.
7. It's unfair -- There is great disparity in the assessed property values in ABC School District, with
median new home values at about $700,000. New property owners shoulder the lion's share of the additional
property tax. This makes it more difficult for young families to buy into ABC School District. On the other hand,
there is no protection for senior citizens living on fixed income. They can't opt out of this new tax even though
they will not benefit from it in any significant way.
As homeowners and parents or grandparents, we understand the importance of keeping up our school facilities so our
children have the best learning environment they deserve. At the same time, we want our government officials to be
honest and responsible. We condemn any attempt to deceive and abuse taxpayers in the name of our children. We urge
all ABCUSD homeowners to vote NO on this deeply flawed Measure BB.
United Homeowners Alliance
A Community Organization