SPOTLIGHT – ORANGE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

$288 Billion Orange USD Bond Measure Would Add to Large Pile of Existing Debt
October 17, 2016
The largest portion of OUSD’s bond obligations takes the form of an unusual OPEB bond. While many California public agencies have issued bonds to cover their pension obligations, few have borrowed to cover Other Post Employment Benefit obligations. OUSD is a pioneer in this area, but it is not clear whether innovation in OPEB funding is desirable. In April 2008, OUSD’s board approved the issuance of a variable-rate bond to cover the district’s estimated $93.8 million OPEB obligation. The plan was to invest the proceeds into an actively managed portfolio of bonds and stocks. The bond proceeds and investment gains would be used to pay retiree healthcare expense, freeing the district’s general fund to cover educational expenses.

Is $288 Million the Right Price for Orange Unified High School Upgrades?
October 17, 2016
Given declining enrollment, Orange Unified School District’s $288 million bond measure may fund more school upgrades than students need.  There is also a risk that the taxpayer cost of debt service for the bond issue will exceed the district’s forecast rate of $29 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

OUSD spends taxpayers’ money to persuade taxpayers to let them spend more taxpayer money
September 28, 2016
Officials of the Orange Unified School District have spent more than $50,000 to support a $288 million bond measure on the November ballot. Expenses include $23,200 for opinion polling and $6,000 per month for campaign consultants, according to documents reviewed by the California Policy Center: School board members authorized the district to spend up to $128,000 on the effort. If voters approve the bond, there will be additional costs – $225,000 for financial advisors and $265,000 for legal advice. The district’s use of public funds rests on a crucial legal distinction, said Orange Unified Superintendent Michael Christensen. It’s legal to use taxpayer dollars to educate the public, but not to campaign.