The Law

Click here to download a copy of the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000.

CHAPTER 1.5.

Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 [15264 – 15288]

( Chapter 1.5 added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [15264 – 15276]

( Article 1 added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. )

15264. It is the intent of the Legislature that all of the following are realized:

(a) Vigorous efforts are undertaken to ensure that the expenditure of bond measures, including those authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, are in strict conformity with the law.

(b) Taxpayers directly participate in the oversight of bond expenditures.

(c) The members of the oversight committees appointed pursuant to this chapter promptly alert the public to any waste or improper expenditure of school construction bond money.

(d) That unauthorized expenditures of school construction bond revenues are vigorously investigated, prosecuted, and that the courts act swiftly to restrain any improper expenditures.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15266. (a) As an alternative to authorizing and issuing bonds pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100) or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15300), the governing board of a school district, community college district, or a school facilities improvement district may decide, pursuant to a two-thirds vote and subject to Section 15100 to pursue the authorization and issuance of bonds pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution. An election may only be ordered on the question of whether bonds of a school district, community college district, or a school facilities improvement district shall be issued and sold pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution at a primary or general election, a regularly scheduled local election at which all of the electors of the school district, community college district, or school facilities improvement district, as appropriate, are entitled to vote, or a statewide special election.

(b) Upon adopting a resolution to incur bonded indebtedness pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution and after the question has been submitted to the voters, if approved at the election, the bonds shall be issued pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and this chapter, and the governing board may not, regardless of the number of votes cast in favor of the bond, subsequently proceed exclusively under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100) or under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15300), as appropriate. Where not inconsistent, the provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100) or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15300), as appropriate, shall apply to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 670, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2008.)

15268. The total amount of bonds issued, including bonds issued pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100), shall not exceed 1.25 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The bonds may only be issued if the tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred by a school district pursuant to this chapter, at a single election, would not exceed thirty dollars ($30) per year per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property when assessed valuation is projected by the district to increase in accordance with Article XIII A of the California Constitution. For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying that result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll. (Amended (as added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44) by Stats. 2000, Ch. 580, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15270. (a) Notwithstanding Sections 15102 and 15268, any unified school district may issue bonds pursuant to this article that, in aggregation with bonds issued pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100), may not exceed 2.5 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The bonds may only be issued if the tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred pursuant to this chapter at a single election, by a unified school district, would not exceed sixty dollars ($60) per year per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property when assessed valuation is projected by the district to increase in accordance with Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(b) Notwithstanding Sections 15102 and 15268, any community college district may issue bonds pursuant to this article that, in aggregation with bonds issued pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100), may not exceed 2.5 percent of the taxable property of the district as shown by the last equalized assessment of the county or counties in which the district is located. The bonds may only be issued if the tax rate levied to meet the requirements of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution in the case of indebtedness incurred pursuant to this chapter at a single election, by a community college district, would not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25) per year per one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of taxable property when assessed valuation is projected by the district to increase in accordance with Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(c) In computing the outstanding bonded indebtedness of any unified school district or community college district for all purposes of this section, any outstanding bonds shall be deemed to have been issued for elementary school purposes, high school purposes, and community college purposes, respectively, in the respective amounts that the proceeds of the sale of those outstanding bonds, excluding any premium and accrued interest received on that sale, were or have been allocated by the governing board of the unified school district or community college district to each of those purposes respectively.

(d) For purposes of this section, the taxable property of a district for any fiscal year shall be calculated to include, but not be limited to, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the district, which shall be derived by dividing the gross assessed value of the unitary and operating nonunitary property within the district for the 1987–88 fiscal year by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property within the county in which the district is located for the 1987–88 fiscal year, and multiplying the result by the gross assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the county on the last equalized assessment roll. In the event of the unification of two or more school districts subsequent to the 1987–88 fiscal year, the assessed value of all unitary and operating nonunitary property of the unified district shall be deemed to be the total of the assessed value of the taxable property of each of the unifying districts as that assessed value would be determined under Section 15268.

(e) For the purposes of this article, “general obligation bonds,” as that term is used in Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution, means bonds of a school district or community college district the repayment of which is provided for by this chapter and Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 15100) of Part 10, and includes bonds of a school facilities improvement district the repayment of which is provided for by this chapter and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15300).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 132, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

15271. The governing board of a school district or community college district may proceed pursuant to this chapter on behalf of a school facilities improvement district that is created by and under the exclusive authority of the school district or community college district and act on behalf of the school facilities district as provided pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15300).

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 132, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.

15272. In addition to the ballot requirements of Section 15122 and the ballot provisions of this code applicable to governing board member elections, for bond measures pursuant to this chapter, the ballot shall also be printed with a statement that the board will appoint a citizens’ oversight committee and conduct annual independent audits to assure that funds are spent only on school and classroom improvements and for no other purposes.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15274. If it appears from the certificate of election results that 55 percent of the votes cast on the proposition of issuing bonds pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution are in favor of issuing bonds, the governing board shall cause an entry of that fact to be made upon its minutes. The governing board shall then certify to the board of supervisors of the county whose superintendent of schools has jurisdiction over the district, all proceedings had in the premises. The county superintendent of schools shall send a copy of the certificate of election results to the board of supervisors of the county.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15276. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county board of education may not order an election to determine whether bonds may be issued under this article to raise funds for a county office of education.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

ARTICLE 2. Citizens’ Oversight Committee [15278 – 15282]

( Article 2 added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. )

15278  (a) If a bond measure authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution is approved, the governing board of the school district or community college shall establish and appoint members to an independent citizens’ oversight committee, pursuant to Section 15282, within 60 days of the date that the governing board enters the election results on its minutes pursuant to Section 15274.

(b) The purpose of the citizens’ oversight committee shall be to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The citizens’ oversight committee shall actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction. The citizens’ oversight committee shall advise the public as to whether a school district or community college district is in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution. The citizens’ oversight committee shall convene to provide oversight for, but not be limited to, both of the following:

(1) Ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the purposes described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(2) Ensuring that, as prohibited by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, no funds are used for any teacher or administrative salaries or other school operating expenses.

(c) In furtherance of its purpose, the citizens’ oversight committee may engage in any of the following activities:

(1) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent performance audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(2) Receiving and reviewing copies of the annual, independent financial audit required by subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(3) Inspecting school facilities and grounds to ensure that bond revenues are expended in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(4) Receiving and reviewing copies of any deferred maintenance proposals or plans developed by a school district or community college district, including any reports required by Section 17584.1.

(5) Reviewing efforts by the school district or community college district to maximize bond revenues by implementing cost-saving measures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of professional fees.

(B) Mechanisms designed to reduce the costs of site preparation.

(C) Recommendations regarding the joint use of core facilities.

(D) Mechanisms designed to reduce costs by incorporating efficiencies in schoolsite design.

(E) Recommendations regarding the use of cost-effective and efficient reusable facility plans.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15280. (a) (1) The governing board of the district shall, without expending bond funds, provide the citizens’ oversight committee with any necessary technical assistance and shall provide administrative assistance in furtherance of its purpose and sufficient resources to publicize the conclusions of the citizens’ oversight committee.

(2) The governing board of the district shall provide the citizens’ oversight committee with responses to any and all findings, recommendations, and concerns addressed in the annual, independent financial and performance audits required by subparagraphs (C) and (D) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution within three months of receiving the audits.

(b) All citizens’ oversight committee proceedings shall be open to the public and notice to the public shall be provided in the same manner as the proceedings of the governing board of the district. The citizens’ oversight committee shall issue regular reports on the results of its activities. A report shall be issued at least once a year. Minutes of the proceedings of the citizens’ oversight committee and all documents received and reports issued shall be a matter of public record and be made available on an Internet Web site maintained by the governing board of the district.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 91, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

15282. (a) The citizens’ oversight committee shall consist of at least seven members who shall serve for a minimum term of two years without compensation and for no more than three consecutive terms. While consisting of a minimum of at least seven members, the citizens’ oversight committee shall be comprised, as follows:

(1) One member shall be active in a business organization representing the business community located within the school district or community college district.

(2) One member shall be active in a senior citizens’ organization.

(3) One member shall be active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization.

(4) For a school district, one member shall be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the school district. For a community college district, one member shall be a student who is both currently enrolled in the community college district and active in a community college group, such as student government. The community college student member may, at the discretion of the governing board of the community college district, serve up to six months after his or her graduation.

(5) For a school district, one member shall be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the school district and active in a parent-teacher organization, such as the Parent Teacher Association or schoolsite council. For a community college district, one member shall be active in the support and organization of a community college or the community colleges of the district, such as a member of an advisory council or foundation.

(b) An employee or official of the school district or community college district shall not be appointed to the citizens’ oversight committee. A vendor, contractor, or consultant of the school district or community college district shall not be appointed to the citizens’ oversight committee. Members of the citizens’ oversight committee shall, pursuant to Sections 35233 and 72533, abide by the prohibitions contained in Article 4 (commencing with Section 1090) and Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 1125) of Chapter 1 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 76, Sec. 27. Effective January 1, 2014.)

ARTICLE 3. Bond Accountability [15284 – 15288]

(Article 3 added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. )

15284. (a) An action to obtain an order restraining and preventing any expenditure of funds received by a school district or community college district through the sale of bonds authorized by this chapter pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution and subdivision (b) of Section 18 of Article XVI of the California Constitution may be maintained against any officer, agent, or other person acting on behalf of, that school district or community college district, by a citizen residing in the school or community college district who is assessed and is liable to pay an ad valorem tax on real property within the school or community college district, or who has paid an ad valorem tax on real property within the school or community college district within one year before the commencement of the action if it appears by the complaint or affidavits that any of the following conditions are present:

(1) An expenditure of funds received by a school district or community college district through the sale of bonds authorized by this chapter is for purposes other than those specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(2) The expenditure is not in compliance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution.

(3) That an expenditure in violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution will be made or will continue to be made during the litigation that would produce waste or great or irreparable injury.

(4) The governing board of a school district or community college has willfully failed to appoint the citizens’ oversight committee in violation of the requirements of Section 15278.

(b) An action brought pursuant to this section shall take special precedence over all civil matters on the calendar of the court except those matters granted equal precedence by law.

(c) The rights, remedies, or penalties established by this section are cumulative to the rights, remedies, or penalties established under other laws, including subdivision (a) of Section 526 of Chapter 3 of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) If an order is obtained to restrain and prevent an expenditure of funds pursuant to subdivision (a), a court may award attorneys’ fees pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1021.5) of Title 14 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(e) The action authorized by this section shall be known as a “School Bond Waste Prevention Action.”

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

15286. Consistent with the provisions contained in subparagraphs (C) and (D) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, the required annual, independent financial and performance audits for the preceding fiscal year shall be submitted to the citizens’ oversight committee established pursuant to Section 15278 at the same time they are submitted to the school district or community college district, no later than March 31 of each year. These audits shall be conducted in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States for financial and performance audits.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 91, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2014.)

15288. It is the intent of the Legislature that upon receipt of allegations of waste or misuse of bond funds authorized in this chapter, appropriate law enforcement officials shall expeditiously pursue the investigation and prosecution of any violation of law associated with the expenditure of those funds.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 44, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

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Ed Code 15378 (c)(4) states “Receiving and reviewing copies of any deferred maintenance proposals or plans developed by a school district or community college district, including any reports required by Section 17584.1.

Below is what the section of Ed Code 17584 and 17584.1 states:

Ed Code 17584 (a) Each fiscal year, the State Allocation Board shall apportion, from the State School Deferred Maintenance Fund, to school districts an amount equal to one dollar ($1) for each one dollar ($1) of local funds up to a maximum of 1/2 percent of the district’s second prior fiscal year revenue limit average daily attendance multiplied by the average, per unit of second prior fiscal year average daily attendance, of the total expenditures and ending fund balances of the total general funds and adult education funds for districts of similar size and type, as defined in subdivision
(b) of Section 42238.4, for the second prior fiscal year, exclusive of any amounts expended for capital outlay, debt service, or revenues that are passed through to other local education agencies, to the extent of funds available. (b) In order to be eligible to receive state aid pursuant to subdivision (a), no district shall be required to budget from local district funds an amount greater than 1/2 percent of the district’s second prior fiscal year revenue limit average daily attendance, multiplied by the average, per unit of second prior fiscal year average daily attendance, of the total expenditures and ending fund balances of the total general funds and adult education funds for districts of similar size and type, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 42238.4 for the second prior fiscal year, exclusive of any amounts expended for capital outlay, debt service, or revenues that are passed through to other local educational agencies. (Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 303, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2010.)

17584.1 (a) The governing board of a school district shall discuss proposals and plans for expenditure of funds for the deferred maintenance of school district facilities at a regularly scheduled public hearing.
(b) In any fiscal year that the school district does not set aside 0.5 percent of its current-year revenue limit average daily attendance for deferred maintenance, the governing board of a school district shall submit a report to the Legislature by March 1 of that year, with copies to the Superintendent, the state board, the Department of Finance, and the State Allocation Board.
(c) The report required pursuant to subdivision (b) shall include all of the following:
(1) A schedule of the complete school facilities deferred maintenance needs of the school district for the current fiscal year, including a schedule of costs per schoolsite and total costs.
(2) A detailed description of the school district’s spending priorities for the current fiscal year and an explanation of why those priorities, or any other considerations, have prevented the school district from setting aside sufficient local funds so as to permit it to fully fund its deferred maintenance program and, if eligible, to participate in the state deferred maintenance funding program as set forth in Section 17584.
(3) An explanation of the manner in which the governing board of a school district plans to meet its current-year facilities deferred maintenance needs without setting aside the funds set forth in Section 17584.
(d) Copies of the report shall be made available at each schoolsite within the school district, and shall be provided to the public upon request.
(e) The purposes of this section are to inform the public regarding the local decision making process relating to the deferred maintenance of school facilities and to provide a foundation for local accountability in that regard.
(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2015.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 2009, 3rd Ex., Ch. 12, Sec. 7) by Stats. 2011, Ch. 7, Sec. 19. Effective March 24, 2011. Section operative July 1, 2015, by its own provisions.)