June 20--Glendale school officials are preparing to issue their second round of Measure S bond funds, totaling $70 million with a majority of the money going toward replacing bungalows with permanent one- and two-story classroom buildings.
Voters approved the $270 million Measure S bond by a landslide in 2011, and Glendale Unified has since already used $52 million of those funds to upgrade security systems, technological infrastructure and school facilities.
Currently, there is $216 million in unissued Measure S funds.
Due to a new state law implemented this year requiring school districts to pay off capital appreciation bonds within 25 years, the school board recently voted to increase the bond's tax rate from $46 per $100,000 assessed property value to $60.
The legislation seeks to avoid past scenarios that had some school districts agreeing to shell out up to 20 times more than what they paid on construction projects.
For example, according to the Orange County Register, the Placentia-Linda Unified School District planned to pay $280 million over the course of 38 years to receive $22 million in construction funds.
Glendale Unified, however, pays about $2.18 for every bond dollar.
The $14 increase comes with two benefits, officials said. It saves local taxpayers about $213 million over the financing period of the bond, and it allows them to tap into tens of millions of dollars in state matching grants.
"The timing's right for us to move forward with this," said school board member Greg Krikorian.
Had Glendale school officials maintained the lower $46 tax rate, they would have needed to delay issuing any more bonds for about seven years.
Now with plans to issue $70 million most likely in August, the district will use about $56 million to obtain about $58 million in matching grants from state officials to build new classrooms.
The state money comes in the form of Overcrowding Relief Grants.
Crews are slated to construct the permanent buildings on 10 Glendale campuses through 2017.
The board is expected to vote on issuing the $70 million at its July 8 meeting.
According to the district's financial adviser, Chet Wang, Glendale Unified would issue another $70 million in 2016, $38 million in 2018 and a final $38 million in 2020.
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