Thursday, January 21, 2021

Community Voices: Time to Audit CUSD Finances

Time for an audit of Coronado school financing, because CUSD is anything but transparent with the public. If we don’t ask the right questions, or research the right websites, CUSD only tells taxpayers what they want us to know.

Do you know you’ve been paying Prop KK parcel taxes since 2000, and will continue paying every year until 2026? (Look at your prop tax statement.) And in addition to that $17M, CUSD borrowed about $100M more from CDA to build all our new schools?

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Remember the funding debacle of the BBMAC pool complex? Do you know it’s still losing up to $400K per year? And despite promises to the contrary, $400K for operations is now being paid out of CUSD General Funds?

Heard of the “2005 Financing Project”? Buried in CUSD’s website is a report of another school loan for $11.1M, with a $20M+ payback through 2035. Funding was used to construct six new buildings, and the pool complex, and to create a “debt service reserve fund” (borrowing more money to make future payments?). To get the loan, the entire Middle School was “mortgaged” by leasing it to an outside corporation, then leasing it back to CUSD. So if CUSD defaults on repayment, does Coronado lose its Middle School property?

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Now CUSD is pushing a Prop E parcel tax, asking even more money for school facilities. At the $40 per $100K rate, we’re told it will cost $29M. But, read Piper Jaffray’s breakdown (on CUSD website on 3-24-14), and you’ll see that four bond series could cost up to $42M! Does that mean taxpayers could be saddled with a higher parcel tax going well beyond 2024?

Financing Coronado schools has become a huge enterprise within CUSD, with a big price tag to homeowners, and plenty of risk with hundreds of millions invested, and entire schools and land used as collateral. Ultimately, taxpayers will be responsible for that debt.

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Before considering another school bond, CUSD owes Coronado homeowners and taxpayers an explanation of ALL school financing – BEFORE the June 3rd vote. CUSD and Dr. Felix should tell us:

  • Total amounts of current & planned CUSD indebtedness.
  • To whom CUSD owes those moneys.
  • Total amounts due for principle, interest, fees & lease payments.
  • When those moneys are due.
  • Any history of delinquent CUSD payments.
  • Results of the last formal audit conducted on CUSD school financing.

Vote NO on Proposition E!

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