Ramona school trustees consider $40 million bond

By Maureen Robertson

In a special meeting Monday afternoon, Ramona Unified School District trustees indicated their support for a $40 million bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Of that, $32 million would pay off a loan a previous board approved a decade ago and $8 million would pay for

From left, trustees Bob Stoody and Rodger Dohm listen as trustee Kim Lasley says she thinks a potential school bond should pay off the district's decade-old loan as well as about $10 million to pay for roofs, air-conditioning and heating units, and other needs. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

school modernization and repairs.

“We’re not taking any action today,” board president Dawn Perfect said. “We’re directing staff to pursue a path to pay off the COP.”

Superintendent Robert Graeff is expected to present a specific bond proposal to trustees at a special meeting on Thursday, June 26, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be in the Wilson Administrative Center, 720 Ninth St.

Also at the meeting, trustees are expected to approve a proposed $47.3 million budget for 2014-15, a state-required accountability plan, a bond underwriter and bond counsel.

Ramona is one of three districts in the county reporting it may not meet its financial obligations in coming years.

Based on the proposed budget presented to trustees last Wednesday, the district will end the 2014-15 school year with an ending balance of $1.2 million.

In 2015-16 and 2016-17, however, the district anticipates ending the year with deficits of $2.4 million and $7 million, respectively. Facing loan repayments of $1.5 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1, $1.8 million the next year and $1.8 million in 2016-17 is only part of the challenge, Assistant Superintendent David Ostermann said.

The district faces increased health benefit, utility and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) costs. While the state’s economy is improving, he said, the district, among other measures, is attempting to sell property it is not using and to balance decreasing enrollment while reducing some class sizes.

Related posts:

  1. Ramona trustees may try again for a school bond
  2. Ramona trustees to review bond consultant’s proposed contract
  3. Ramona school district inches toward bond bid
  4. School bond will be Proposition R on Nov. 6 ballot
  5. Trustees poised to place $60M bond on November ballot

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Jun 18 2014. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Ramona school trustees consider $40 million bond”

  1. Dave Patterson

    I think this is a more reasonable approach to solving the problems, but there still may be alternatives to a loan that may cost us $37 per $100K of property for more than 20 years. As an example the projection of $1.8M deficit in 2016~2017 is less than 5% of this years budget. Can't they reduce the salary increases between now and then and put this problem off? So what I'm suggesting is that they might find the necessary savings through salary freezes, retirees replaced by less expensive younger people and then float a bond for only $8M to fix the infrastructure. Much easier to pay off, and will save energy costs if they do it right. Is this a reasonable alternative?

    • Justin

      The teachers union (Editor’s note: in Justin’s district) fought for a year when presented with responsible cost cutting measures. When it came time that the measures HAD to go into effect the teachers went on strike because there was no longer enough school year left to spread out the pain. The teachers went so far as to tell the children to stay home because the substitutes weren’t safe. If it were up to me I would replace the entire teaching staff with younger, lower paid teachers with less benefits, at which point the budget would balance easily. As I recall, there were teachers on the picket lines telling news crews that they were paid less than all the teachers in california. Turns out they got $85k a year, generous benefits AND only worked 6 months per year. After counting benefits, time off and pay they were making nearly $100,000 per year and complaining that they were underpaid!

  2. guest

    Seems to me the baby boomers got one heck of a free ride. Their parents handed them a great country after winning WWII and then their children and grandchildren pay for their health care and retirement. Lets pay off the COP and fix our schools! All of our taxes are paying for Viagra and welfare. At lease we know where this money is going.

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