Coronado Unified School District Bond Issue, Measure E (June 2014)
The measure would have authorized the district to increase its debt by $29 million through issuing general obligation bonds in that amount. The money would have been used to improve classroom technology, student facilities and educational programs. In order to cut down on interest payments, the proposed bonds were short term bonds that allowed only 5 years from the issuing date of each installment of issued bonds to repay the debt. Measure E would have required that only $13.2 million of the possible $29 million be outstanding at any given time and that all bonds be repaid by September 30, 2024.
Measure E would have also authorized the district to impose an additional property tax to repay the bonds. The required tax rate estimated by district officials was between $31 and $39 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
A 55% supermajority vote was required for the approval of Measure E.
- Election results from San Diego Elections Office
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
Protect Quality Education in Coronado Local Measure.
The full text of the bond ordinance that would be enacted on the approval of Measure E, including a list of proposed projects, is available here.
The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure E:
- Casey Tanaka, mayor of Coronado
- Al Ovrom, Jr., council member for the city of Coronado
- Scott Grimes, realtor
- Jean Roesch, educator
- Michael A. Giorgione, retired rear admiral of the United States Navy
The "yes on E" campaign was being run by Protect Our Coronado Schools.
Arguments in favor
Supporters of Measure E argued that the Coronado Unified School District provided some of the best education in California to its students, featuring excellent teachers, test scores, graduation rates and student achievement. They argued that the district was facing severe cuts because of the recession and decreased state funding. District officials and proponents of the bond measure proposed that the district needed money from Measure E to supplement the general fund in order to continue to give students a truly quality education.
The Protect Our Coronado Schools website featured the following arguments in favor of Measure E:
THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE! Coronado schools are among the best in California, with superior teachers, excellent test scores, high graduation rates, and outstanding student achievement. Our award winning schools prepare students for success in both college and careers in the 21st century workplace. They also contribute to Coronado’s high property values and quality of life. But all that could change without passage of Proposition E.
The NEED is high! CUSD, through no fault of its own, faces a severe budget deficit due to the Great Recession and the State’s new school funding formula (“LCFF”). LCFF reduces CUSD’s annual revenues for operations. Since CUSD must address next year’s budget deficit based on current facts (i.e., with LCFF but without Prop E), CUSD recently provisionally pink slipped (in whole or in part) approximately 40 teachers and staff (over 10% of CUSD’s work force). In contrast, should Prop E pass, most of these cuts can be reversed.
The SOLUTION is clear! We need additional revenues to replace State revenues no longer available to CUSD due to LCFF!
Prop E provides a PRUDENT, RESPONSIBLE, locally controlled solution – a school bond which establishes stable local funding for crucial student needs and closes the budget gap. Prop E shifts essential school facility/technology needs previously funded by the District’s general funds to bond funding, so general funds instead can be allocated to:
Prop E is right-sized and WELL CRAFTED: Prop E provides bonding authority for $29m over 10 years – an appropriate level given the projected go-forward $2.5m annual budget deficit due to LCFF. Prop E also mandates that all bonds must be paid off within 5 years from issuance – there will be no long term debt under Prop E, and the short bond terms assure low interest rates. All bonds must be repaid by 2024 and the program cannot be extended further without voter approval. It is anticipated that by 2024, the District will become a “basic aid” district and will have the resources to cover its operating expenses without extension of the bond program.
ALL Prop E funds (100%) stay IN Coronado – FOR Coronado! The State cannot take this funding away.
The cost is REASONABLE: The cost to property owners will be approximately $39.80 for each $100,000 of assessed valuation (not to be confused with market value). AV generally equals 1% of the value of a house when purchased or constructed, plus cost of living adjustments thereafter (capped at 2% per year). The median AV for a single family house in Coronado is $635,600, which means that if Prop E passes, the increase in property taxes for most home owners will be less than $255 per year (which should be tax deductible).
The TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS are unprecedented: Prop E contains the most stringent taxpayer controls ever included in a local California school bond. Bonds cannot be issued if they will cause yearly payments to exceed $3.3m or outstanding debt to exceed $13.2m. Funds thus only will be raised as needed, and independent Citizen Oversight will ensure that every dollar is spent wisely.
Whether or not you have school-age children, this is a WISE INVESTMENT. Prop E will maintain quality schools attractive to discerning parents and property owners, and characteristic of high-value communities.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY VALUES and your investment in Coronado! Join teachers, parents, seniors, homeowners, and military, civic and business leaders in protecting OUR children, OUR schools and OUR community.
—Protect Our Coronado Schools
The following individuals signed the officials arguments in opposition to Measure E:
- Thomson Pray, homeowner
- Ann Glick Mitchell, homeowner and retired teacher
- Gerald L. Toci, Coronado Taxpayers Association for Excellence in Public Education
- Jane Mitchell, taxpayer
- James R. Mills, retired resident
Opponents argued that the property tax hike was not affordable for many residents and that Measure E was risky and wasteful. They claimed that many of the proposed projects to be paid for by Measure E funds should be coming from the district's general fund, not from borrowing more money. Critics gave the following information and proposed that Measure E had the following consequences that made it a foolish and ill conceived idea:
- Measure E would have increased taxation above constitutional limits, overturning key taxpayer protections.
- Coronado Unified School District overspent and did not do what it should have to keep its costs at a moderate level. Measure E would have perpetuated this problem rather than facing and resolving it.
- The guarantees that the bond money would have been used only for capital costs were meaningless since the district would have easily moved money around, using bond money to replace unrestricted funds, which could have then been used to pay old school debt, teacher pension debt and other sources of massive school debt.
Opponents said that budget cuts in the event of the defeat of Measure E would not be as dire and detrimental to the quality of education as officials wanted voters to believe. They proposed that if voters said no to the district, it would simply have to learn to live within its means.
- Local school bonds on the ballot
- San Diego County, California ballot measures
- June 3, 2014 ballot measures in California
- San Diego County elections department, Measure E voter pamphlet information, archived April 22, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Protect Our Coronado Schools website, "About Prop E," archived April 22, 2014