On March 3, Anaheim Union High School District voters will weigh in on Measure B, another school construction bond placed on the ballot by the AUSHD Board of Education just for years after voters approved the Measure H bond.
The AUHSD Board is telling voters that Measure B is a $398 million general obligation bond. But that isn’t how much it will cost AUHSD taxpayers. $398 is the amount being borrowed. What neither the district not the Yes on Measure B campaign are telling voters is how much it will cost taxpayers to pay off Measure B: approximately $734 million. At least. And probably more.
The uncertainty of the actual cost should give caution to AUHSD voters – not least because the AUHSD has declining enrollment.
If Measure B passes, the district will conduct bond issuances – i.e. borrow money – every two years beginning in 2020, with the final bond issue being in 2028. The first round of bonds will be paid off in 2048-49, the final issuance in 2052-53.
Because this is borrowed money, it has to be re-paid with interest – just like a mortgage. When all is said and done, it will cost AUHSD taxpayers around $734 million to pay off that $398 million bond.
Not that the AUHSD leadership, the teachers union or the Yes on Measure B campaign are providing voters with that critical piece of information. There’s no mention of the true cost in any of the hundreds of pages of Measure B-related documentation on the AUHSD Board of Education’s public agenda.
As Anaheim Blog reported this past November, AUSHD Trustee Al Jabbar told district staff at the October 2019 Board meeting that “the key for us to win the next bond” was “pumping enough information” out so that the “community is bombarded.”
Dollars to donuts the AUHSD is telling its voters bupkis when it comes to how much Measure B will truly cost taxpayers.
Children First, Bond Debt No – A grass-roots group of local citizens opposed to Measure B has coalesced to push back against the AUSHD propaganda machine, in hopes of providing voters with balanced information. You can visit their website by clicking here.
Four years ago, AUHSD voters approved Measure H, a $249 million bond. Now the district wants to borrow another $398 million. The district has stated it ultimately wants to borrow a total of $1.3 to $1.5 billion via school bonds – in reality, several billion dollars when interest is factored in.
By state law, local school bonds must garner at least 55% of the vote to pass. If 45.1% of AUHSD voters oppose Measure B, they will put the brakes on the district’s runaway debt train.