Can a School District Dictate the Bylaws of a Bond Oversight Committee?

FAQ 12

Can a School District Dictate the Bylaws of a

Bond Oversight Committee?

Bylaws are rules adopted for the regulation of a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee’s own actions.

There is nothing in current law to prohibit a School District from attempting to dictate how an Oversight Committee can operate. There is no known case law that has challenged the enactment of onerous and restrictive bylaws that run counter to the legislative intent of bond oversight.

However, the District must operate within the context of Education Code Sections 15264 to 15288.

There are five (5) basic requirements – The citizens’ oversight committee shall advise the public as to whether a school district or community college district follows the requirements of the Education Code. This in simple terms is as follows:

  1. Did the District spend on authorized purposes i.e., capital expenditures and not on teacher and administrator salaries and other operating expenses
  2. Were expenditures made on projects specifically authorized by the voters?
  3. Was there an Annual Financial Audit?
  4. Was there an Annual Performance Audit?
  5. Annual Report Required and Regular Reports Encouraged. “The citizens’ oversight committee shall issue regular reports on the results of its activities. A report shall be issued at least once a year.”

In addition to these requirements of the Bond Oversight Committee, there are the following requirements of the School District:

Provide technical Assistance. “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.”

Access to Audits. “The governing board of the district shall provide the citizens’ oversight committee with responses to 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.”

Maintenance of Public Records and Public Access. “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.”

District Reporting Requirements. 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 Website maintained by the governing board of the district.