In the News & Updates Archives

Articles are for informational purposes and may express opinions not necessarily representing CABOC. Links may take you off of this website 

Commentary | Taxpayers Deserve Better Performance Audits of School Construction Bonds
Commentary by Bryan Scott | March 27, 2024 |

Excerpt: California public school and community college district voters approved $20 billion of construction loans in 2022, with more passing in 2023, using the Proposition 39 financing capability. The California Association of Bond Oversight Committees (CABOC) estimates that a total of $197.8 billion of this type of construction loan now exists. …
    This oversight includes a performance audit that “… shall be conducted in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States for financial and performance audits.”  Education code section 15286
     When a standards-compliant performance audit is not present, however, laws can be broken, crimes committed, and voters are left to conclude that their tax money is not being spent wisely. A search engine’s worth of indictments, allegations and plea deals are discoverable on the internet, relating to school districts and construction. This is in addition to the traditional occurrence of excessive change orders, cost overruns and delivery delays. …      A statewide compliance survey released in October 2022 revealed that performance audits produced by most school districts fail to sufficiently comply with the required standards, according to a common sense, reasonable evaluation. …
    The comptroller general’s government auditing standards manual describes how government officials, such as school districts, should use a performance audit to assure the public that its money is well-spent. These standards describe the categories of audit objectives: program effectiveness and results; internal control; compliance; and prospective analysis. It also lists 32 examples of audit objectives, illustrating each of the four categories. This information provides objective analysis, findings and conclusions in order to improve program performance and operations, reduce costs and increase public accountability. …
CABOC Performance Audit academy webpage (includes videos, FAQs and resources):

How the Promise of Big Energy Savings in One Bay Area School District Led to a $50 Million Controversy?
May 21, 2024 | By Katie Lauer|

Enhancing Proposition 39 Construction Bond Programs with CBOC Expenditure Reviews | Nov. 21, 2023
By Stephan Bacchetti, Moss Adams Partner and
Anton Jungherr, CABOC Co-Founder & Executive Director
Excerpt: … Understanding California Proposition 39, its accountability requirements, and reporting best practices is essential to supporting a successful bond program.   
    Below (visit link)is an overview of Prop 39 and actionable steps to help citizens bond oversight committee (CBOC) members effectively review construction expenditures and contribute to program success. … | May 5, 2023 | By Ali Tadayon
California Supreme Court rules in decade-long legal battle over Fresno middle school construction contract

CABOC Amicus Brief in support of Plaintiff and Davis in
Davis v. Fresno USD

Davis v. Fresno USD

Davis v. Fresno USD Conclusion | May 3, 2023 | By Dan Walters | Opinion Opinion: California Supreme Court dismantles no-bid school construction contracts

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FatCity| April 25, 2023 | By Daniel Garza
Stockton Unified School District Under Investigation For Fraud Following State Audit

Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) Extraordinary Audit February 14, 2023
Stockton USD Final Report

Pleasanton Weekly | April 13, 2023 | By Christian Trujano
Pleasanton Unified School District Ongoing MakeoverAfter 7 years most Measure I projects are completed

Chico Enterprise- Record | April 7, 2023 | By Ed booth
Chico Board will Ponder Master Plan for Facilities. Several schools require renovations, but not enough money is available

California Globe| April 3, 2023 | By Evan Symon 
Election Contests Over Two San Mateo County School Bonds Filed Due To Ballot Label Law Violations

LA Daily News | March 28, 2023 | By Clara Harter
LAUSD invests $92 million in greener, cleaner, more accessible campuses.

Marin Independent Journal | March 23, 2023 | By Keri Brenner
Mill Valley school bond tax rate could increase

California Policy Center | March 14, 2023 | Sheridan Swanson
Capistrano Unified: A case Study in Opposing Bad Bonds
A practical way for citizens to fight ill-conceived school bond measures

Ojai Valley News | March 13, 2023 | By Kimberly Rivers
Brown Act Violation: District Attorney issues ‘cease and desist’ to OUSD for allegations of violating state law

Modesto Bee | March 7, 2023
Modesto School Board Okays Consolidated Oversight of 2018 & 2022 bond Measures. What Does It Mean?

SF Examiner | Feb. 23, 2023 | By Allyson Aleksey
San Francisco School District to Propose Largest Bond in City History. San Francisco USD plans to present voters with a $1 billion general obligation bond as soon as Nov., the largest bond in The City’s history. | Feb. 22, 2023 | By John Fensterwald
Orange Unified accused of ‘full ambush’ to fire superintendent; did it violate state’s open meeting law? Email showed pre-meeting communication among majority board members | Feb. 3, 2023 | By Tom McAllister   
3 Temecula Valley USD Board Members Called Out On Brown Act. The possible Brown Act violation by the three board members was raised to the attention of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office | Dec. 22, 2022 | By John Fensterwald & Carolyn Jones
California school districts pass $20 billion in construction bonds, but some rural areas say no to higher taxes

Whittier Daily News | Nov. 21, 2022 | By Scott Schwebke
Former Montebello Unified official to pay feds $50K for bond scheme. Securities and Exchange Commission says former business manager misrepresented audit



Danville San Ramon | August 31, 2022 | By Nicole Gonzales
Audit finds myriad factors — but none illegal — for Dublin USD bond budget shortfall. School board reviews results for third-party investigation into $183M deficit—-but-none-illegal—-for-dusd-bond-budget-shortfall

SF Chronicle | July 6, 2022 | By Jill Tucker
SF School District Used $525,000 Aimed at Facility Improvement to Pay for Legal Fight Over Controversial School Mural

The Frisc | April 8, 2022 |by Alex Lash
Schools Eye a $1 Billion Bond, SF’s Biggest Ever, While Questions Persist About the Last One

Desert Sun | Jan. 26, 2022 | By Jonathan Horwitz
Group launches political ad against College of the Desert leaders, asks where is the money?

Desert Sun | Nov. 21, 2021 | By Editorial Board
College of the Deserts reign of secrecy needs to end

Crescent City Times | Nov. 17, 2021 | By Freedom Writer
Update of $25 Million School Bond Citizens Oversight Committee PDF:


EdSource | December 29, 2021 | John Fensterwald
Several options, big decisions loom for funding school construction

The Tax Watchers: 2022 Fairfield-Suisun School District Measure J Bond Oversight Report | By Barbara Pisching

San Diego Union-Tribune|Sept. 16, 2021| By Jeff McDonald
SEC charges Sweetwater schools, former CFO with filing false financial reports. District, former CFO agree to settle case involving misleading bond rating agency about district’s financial condition

U.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionSEC Charges School District and Former Executive with Misleading Investors in Bond Offering

Dublin USD Reports at Least $184M Shortfall on School Facility Projects
Feb. 18, 2021 | By Courtney Teague | Feb. 18, 2021

Why Dublin USD is Struggling to Pay for School Projects
April 12, 2021 | By Courtney Teague | | August 16, 2016 | By Joyce Tsai
West Contra Costa USD Whistleblower Files Retaliation Complaint

West Contra Costa USD Whistleblower Comments to Little Hoover Commission

West Contra Cost USD Forensic Audit

California League of Bond Oversight Committees Dissolution (CaLBOC)

California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CaLBOC) on January 15, 2021 filed with the Secretary of State a Nonprofit Certificate of Dissolution. This action was taken by written consent of all nine CaLBOC directors by counterpart signatures between November 8, 2020 and December 3, 2020. The resolution included the following:

  • “RESOLVED, that the board has determined it to be the best interests of the Corporation to dissolve at this time.”
  • “RESOLVED FURTHER, … approves distribution of the remaining assets to Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation ($1,523.42) … .” (dollar amount added)

Little Hoover Commission Testimony, CaLBOC, and Current CABOC Directors

Several CaLBOC directors testified in September 2016 before the California Little Hoover Commission (LHC), a bipartisan independent California oversight agency to promote economy and efficiency in state and local government, including Anton Jungherr and Nick Marinovich. In February 2017, the LHC published their report “Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight” which included six recommendations to improve the effectiveness of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees.
      Former members of CaLBOC wanted to prioritize implementation of the recommendations from the LHC, therefore formed a new association, CABOC. With the dissolution of CaLBOC, CABOC is the only statewide nonprofit organization existing to address the recommendations of the LHC.
      One of the LHC recommendations stated: “Develop easy-to-access online training materials for members of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees. Specifically, the Governor and Legislature should direct and authorize one-time funding to the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team to develop online training for local Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee members, with input and assistance from the California Debt and Investment Advisory Committee and the California League of Bond Oversight Committees.”
     California Association of Bond Oversight Committees (CABOC) was incorporated on September 19, 2019 as a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation by Jack Weir and Anton Jungherr. “The specific purpose of this corporation is to provide training, assistance, and encouragement to California School Proposition 39 Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Members through development of training materials, delivery of online training, conference, workshops, formation of regional groups of California Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees and representing common interest at the statewide level.”
     Implementation of the LHC recommendations will guide the focus and work of CABOC.

The Megataxers

An Investigation into the California School Bond Process
and those that are Behind the Scenes Making Millions

FIRST IN A SERIES | July 9, 2021 | By Jonesy Smith and Brian Hews
Excerpt: … The Megataxers are individuals, companies, partnerships, architects, engineers, lawyers, developers, financiers, underwriters, and unions who court local school board members and encourage them to pass massive public school bond resolutions.   They professionally frame ballot measures created and designed to secure the votes of residents of their districts to invest, in the name of education, into public spending programs for the capitalization of districts, or so they say. …
     The first wave hit the Bassett Unified School District, Measure BB. The wave first rolled in at $50 million; the tax rate statement showed that it churned into $96 million in costs of issuance and interest for BUSD taxpayers.
     The second wave soaked the foothills and the communities surrounding Citrus Community College, Measure Y.  This wave was nearly three times the size of BUSD’s, clocking in at $298 million, but the swell grew to more than $500 million in costs and interest.
    The third wave, modest in comparison, hit Duarte Unified School District, Measure S, at $79 million,  which swelled to $147 million.
     But that’s nothing compared to Inglewood Unified School District’s Measure I. That wave started at $240 million, but crested at well over $469 Million.
     Second to last was Pasadena Unified School District, proffered with Non-Citizen Voting on the agenda, at $516 million, swelling to $798 million.
     The end of the set was Whittier Union High School District, a $183 million bond that will cost $406 million.
     Governor Gavin Newsom sought $15 Billion for the entire State; this is $13 billion in Los Angeles County alone.
     Through a series of investigative stories, we will expose the individuals and firms who contributed funds to get the bonds passed,  imposing a staggering $13 billion dollars in property taxes in L.A. County – under the rubric of education, but really to line their own pockets. …


El Rancho promises changes after state audit finds potential fraud

Jan. 5, 2021 | By Bradley Bermont | Pasadena Star-News

EXCERPT: … El Rancho Unified officials didn’t have much of a holiday vacation, meeting for nearly four hours between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to sign off on a 13-page response to a state audit that found evidence of potential fraud within the district’s $200 million Measure ER bond program.    …     The audit was singularly focused on the district’s internal fraud controls, saying they were hampered by a rotating cast of superintendents and chief business officers, and warned about past involvement from board members who inappropriately inserted themselves into a hiring process that should have been led by district staff. … READ MORE: