Urgency of School Improvement Bonds Contradicted by State Dept of Educations Own Reports

By Andrew Heritage
In 2015, officials of the Brea Olinda Unified School District (BOUSD) told state officials all nine of its school facilities were in “exemplary” condition. Six months later, the same district officials told residents the facilities were “deteriorating” – and that the schools would not survive without a $148 million renovation. That disparity – a ratings...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District, SARC

Officials Ditch Claim About ‘Benefits’ of High Property Taxes

By Catrin Thorman
Flyers distributed in Capistrano Unified School District schools and the main office promote the district’s upcoming $889 million property tax increase as a benefit to homeowners. That claim would appear to be a political response to criticism of Measure M, the controversial bond on the South Orange County district’s November 8 ballot. Critics have said...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District, Kamala Harris, Measure M, Stanson v. Mott

District has Paid Consultants Over $400k to Promote Bond

By Andrew Heritage
State law prohibits government officials from using taxpayer dollars in political campaigns. But on June 8, Keith Weaver of Government Financial Strategies stood before the Capistrano Unified school board, coaching trustees on how to pass an $889 bond measure on the November 8 ballot. “November elections do better,” said Weaver, whose Sacramento-based firm has been paid...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District, Measure M

School District's Bond Controversy Reveals Rising Concern About 'Pay-to-Play'

By Conor McGarry
CUSD’s Kirsten Vital  In the space of just a few months, state officials have suddenly turned their attention to a problem in the public-educational shadows: insider dealing among California school district officials and outside vendors. In a January opinion, state Attorney General Kamala Harris concluded that school officials had become too cozy with companies that...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District, Jerry Brown, John Chiang, school bonds

Controversial ‘Education Center’ Schools Parents in Bond Pitfalls

By Catrin Thorman
Capistrano Unified HQ: More like a Four Seasons resort. Anyone looking down the barrel of an $889 million school bond should consider what the Capistrano Unified School District did with its last bond, in 2002. After issuing the bond – called a certificate of participation (COP) – the district began constructing a $35 million administration building...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District

Capistrano Teacher Union Operative’s Story Hard to Swallow

By Larry Sand
Deceptive campaign websites point to CUEA front-group leader. The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) in California’s Orange County has seen more than its share of school board battles in recent years. In 2008, parent activists managed to rid themselves of possibly the most corrupt school board in America. Immortalized in Not As Good As You...

TAGS: Capistrano Unified School District