Tag Archive for State Allocation Board

2013 Annual Conference of California League of Bond Oversight Committees Highlights Current Controversies on Municipal Bond Sales for Schools (and High-Speed Rail)

I’m on the Advisory Board of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CalBOC), which held its annual conference today (May 10, 2013) in Sacramento. To improve public accountability for California K-12 and community college construction programs funded by money borrowed through bond sales, this non-partisan organization improves the training and resources available to bond oversight committees; educates the state legislature, local school boards, and the public about the oversight and reporting authority of bond oversight committees; and advocates on a state level, where appropriate, on issues of common concern to bond oversight committees.

California League of Bond Oversight Committees Logo 2013

Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees were established through a section of Proposition 39 in 2000 that became California Education Code Sections 15278-15282Michael Day, president and co-founder of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees, said that attendees should “go with the knowledge that you’re doing good things” as ordinary California citizens. Day kicked off the 2013 conference by asserting that “spending wisely shouldn’t be a partisan issue.” (I would have added that spending foolishly doesn’t seem to be a partisan issue.)

Presenting first at the conference were two finance and business administrators from the Santa Ana Unified School District, which is getting criticized for borrowing $35 million in 2009 by selling Capital Appreciation Bonds at an almost 10:1 debt-service-to-principal ratio. In addition to suggesting that Capital Appreciation Bond sales can be a valid business decision under certain conditions, they insinuated that school districts know best how to sell their bonds, and perhaps the state legislature is needlessly interfering in their own local affairs. To boost their case, they asked two rhetorical questions to show the arbitrary nature of the provisions in Assembly Bill 182 that would restrict school district sales of Capital Appreciation Bonds:

1. What’s the proper maximum maturity period for school bonds?

(AB 182 proposes 25 years)

2. What’s the proper maximum ratio of debt-service-to-principal on school bonds?

(AB 182 proposes 4:1)

Following their presentation was Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon), who introduced Assembly Bill 182 to restrict the sale of Capital Appreciation Bonds. (The bill passed the Assembly on April 8, 2013 with a 75-0 vote.) Catching my attention during her speech was her assertion that the legislature should expand state-mandated performance reviews for school bond measures to include such items as an examination of the school district’s labor compliance program. Knowing how the old labor compliance program laws and regulations had changed starting in 2009, I asked what she meant. Assemblywoman Buchanan said that the State Allocation Board had discovered that some school districts had applied for and received state reimbursement for labor compliance program expenses but weren’t actually following the state requirements and didn’t deserve the reimbursement.

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer Speaks at 2013 California League of Bond Oversight Committees Conference

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer speaks at the 2013 California League of Bond Oversight Committees annual conference.

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer was the keynote speaker. He declared that the Poway Unified School District officials who engineered its notorious 2009 Capital Appreciation Bond sales were “stupid” and should be fired or recalled. Many people in the meeting room clapped in response, although I don’t know what the representatives from the Poway Unified School District did.

Lockyer sees “a whole industry that lives off of this” scheme for Capital Appreciation Bonds and detects “an odor” of underwriters and other financial management firms engaged in “corrupt practices” and taking advantage of school districts through bond sales. He said he heard a story about how an underwriting firm turned down a school district’s request for handling a ill-advised, foolish Capital Appreciation Bond sale, and then the school district asked another firm with fewer scruples, which was pleased to do it for a fee.

Lockyer noted that the 4:1 debt service to principal ratio for school bonds indicated in Assembly Bill 182 was a political compromise among various parties, including some special interests that demanded either absurd ratios (such as 9:1) or no ratio at all. He actually supports an outright ban on Capital Appreciation Bond sales by school districts. (Michigan enacted such a ban in 1994.)

At the March 18, 2013 meeting of the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, chairman Dan Richard told me to ask the State Treasurer about the details of the bond sales for the California High-Speed Passenger Train for the 21st Century. So I was ready with the first question for Bill Lockyer: when will the authorized High-Speed Rail bonds be sold, what will be the rate, will they be 35-year bonds as authorized, and will some of them be sold as Capital Appreciation Bonds?

Lockyer answered by revealing that California High-Speed Rail bonds will not be issued separately but will be “mixed in” with general state bond sales (such as the state bond sales in mid-April 2013). Then to my surprise, he said that a small amount of the high-speed rail bonds had already been sold! I sent out a tweet that’s now getting some attention:

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer says small amount of bonds for California High-Speed Rail have been sold already. Did anyone know this?

He also told me that the market sets the rates – a clever answer from an experienced politician who knows how to evade the tough questions.

Regarding state K-12 school bonds, Lockyer said about $2 billion was left from the state school bond measures approved in the 2000s and that it was likely that the state legislature would put another school construction bond measure on the November 2014 ballot. (Three school bond measures approved by California voters in 2002, 2004, and 2006 authorized the state to borrow $35.8 billion by selling bonds. The State Allocation Board disperses the grants.)

Finally, in response to an excellent question from Kern County Taxpayers Association executive director Mike Turnipseed, Lockyer said that perhaps some of very old voter authorizations for bond sales that never happened in the end could be “erased” or cancelled, thus eliminating the state’s liability for repaying the principal on those bonds.

Kevin Carlin of the Carlin Law Group in San Diego made a presentation about single-source alternative construction procurement methods, including design-build and lease-leaseback. The presentation was routine until he began advancing his view that there’s a “proliferation of illegal lease-leaseback school contracting” in California and cited the Sweetwater Unified School District in Chula Vista as an example. A vocal faction in the audience – primarily school district officials and an attorney for school districts – disputed these claims. During the question-and-answer session, I told Carlin that his only ally in the state legislature was the self-interested Professional Engineers in California Government union and that his best chance for addressing the problem was to add provisions to law that ensure better public access to bidding and contract documents on design-build and lease-leaseback projects. (See California Public Contract Code Section 20133 (g).) Supporters of lease-leaseback complained that I wasn’t asking a question.

Joel Thurtell Speaks on Capital Appreciation Bonds at 2013 California League of Bond Oversight Committees Conference

Joel Thurtell speaks on Capital Appreciation Bonds at the 2013 California League of Bond Oversight Committees annual conference.

Retired Detroit Free Press reporter Joel Thurtell, now a blogger at www.JoelontheRoad.com, was the last speaker at the conference. His investigative report “Michigan Schools Load the Future with Debt” was the headline story in the April 5, 1993 Detroit Free Press, and it led to a 1994 state law banning Michigan school districts from selling Capital Appreciation Bonds.

One of the reasons why the article was effective in changing public policy was the directive of a Detroit Free Press editor to Thurtell to produce a “Big Graphic” showing the extent of Capital Appreciation Bond sales by Michigan school districts. Thurtell had to perform many days of tedious paper-based research at the state treasurer’s office in Lansing, but the result was stunning. (Likewise, I believe that the graphic elements of the www.VoiceofSanDiego.org articles on Capital Appreciation Bond sales by California school districts was a major factor in finally bringing state and national attention to the issue.)

In January 2009, Thurtell posted the text of his old Detroit Free Press articles on his web site. Nothing more happened with them until March 2012, when Alicia Minyen, a member of the Board of Directors of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CalBOC), found his articles with a web search using the terms “Capital Appreciation Bonds” and “ban.” At this time the word was beginning to spread about the astonishing 10:1 debt service to principal ratio for bonds sold in 2009 by the Poway Unified School District, and the Los Angeles County Treasurer was publicly warning against Capital Appreciation Bond sales.

Joel Thurtell and Alicia Minyen

Champions of fiscal responsibility: Joel Thurtell from Michigan and Alicia Minyen from California.

Minyen contacted Thurtell and then reported on what she learned at the 2012 California League of Bond Oversight Committees. I heard Minyen’s presentation on Capital Appreciation Bonds and then reported it on my blog on May 11, 2012 as Please Read This, Even If You Think Municipal Bonds Are Really BORING: We’re Setting Up the Next Generation of Californians to Pay Staggering Property Taxes, apparently being the first Californian to post a journalistic report on the web about this practice in California.

Thurtell noted today that the worst abuse of Capital Appreciation Bonds in Michigan was at a school district that even used bond proceeds to buy personal computers. I immediate thought about how California school districts are using bond proceeds to buy electronic tablets, with Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District being two prominent examples.

California Local Election Report: Construction Bond Measures for School Districts and Community College Districts – Four That Obviously Deserve a NO Vote

California’s elected school boards and community college boards have put 106 measures on local ballots for the November 6, 2012 election asking voters to authorize borrowing money for construction through bond sales. At least four of these proposed bond measures are so stunningly misguided that citizens in these districts should take democratic action, defy the well-funded Establishment, and reject the debt with a NO vote.

Below, I list and explain the four districts where voters should Close the Spigot of taxpayer money to the elected boards. First, some general background about educational facility bond measures on the November 6, 2012 ballot:

CALIFORNIA – 106 Bond Measures for Construction at Educational Districts

A web site – www.californiacityfinance.com – lists 106 school construction bond measures on the November 2012 ballot in California. An article from School Services of California and reprinted on September 26, 2012 by the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) confirms there are 106 proposed bond measures. That article also notes that 106 is the highest number of California school bond measures ever considered in an election. It also claims that voters authorize the sale of bonds in California school districts about 70% of the time.

The number of bond measures presented to voters throughout California has trended relentlessly upwards since November 2000, when 53.4% of California voters narrowly approved Proposition 39, which dropped the voter threshold for approval of educational construction bond measures from 66.67% to 55%. This was the start of California’s massive accumulation of debt for educational construction at the state and local levels of government.

A few professional political consulting firms (such as Tramutola Advisors, based in Oakland, and TBWB Strategies, based in San Francisco) specialize in the business of convincing voters to vote Yes for school bond measures. They are adept at emotive messaging (“it’s all about the kids”) and at exploiting technical loopholes to leverage public funds as much as legally possible to develop and promote the bond measures.

Funding for the campaigns to pass the bond measures is collected from banks, bond brokers (underwriters), and other financial service corporations that make money from bond transactions. This has generated some criticism; see Vote No on Sacramento’s Measures Q and R web site for a compilation of 2012 news articles about bond underwriters and campaign contributions.

Bond measures also generate business for the construction industry. A perusal of contributors to bond measures usually reveals architects, engineers, contractors and construction trade associations, and construction trade unions.

Have YOU checked the list of contributors to campaigns to pass bond measures in your K-12 school and community college district?

Rarely does significant opposition develop against proposed bond measures, as shown by how often official voter information guides outright lack an opposition statement to a proposed bond measure. When there is organized opposition, it usually centers around a regional taxpayers association, with help from the local Libertarian Party or Tea Party organizations. Generally, opposition campaigns are passionate, but amateurish. They usually don’t have any money to spend on getting their message out to voters.

PROFESSIONALIZING OPPOSITION WITH CALIFORNIA’S “OPERATION CLOSE THE SPIGOT” 

Earlier this year, I circulated a proposal for “Operation Close the Spigot,” a program to have a well-funded, coordinated opposition campaign statewide against the most egregious bond measures proposed for California K-12 school districts and community college districts. While a formal organization has not yet emerged to close the spigot of taxpayer funding, my agitation on this issue – like my agitation for charter cities – has inspired some promising grassroots movement for local individuals and organizations to gather together and make a more serious effort to inform voters about the huge debt burden accumulating on Californians as a result of the parade of bond measures.

As the November 6, 2012 election approaches, here are the most promising developments for organized opposition against four foolish proposed educational construction bond measures in California.

1. SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT – $414 Million Measures Q and R

The “Fair and Open Competition – Sacramento” committee that had organized in 2011 to enact Fair and Open Competition ordinances in the City of Sacramento and the County of Sacramento reorganized its leadership and membership and decided to expose the foolhardiness of the Sacramento City Unified School District’s proposal to borrow another $414 million by selling bonds. (District taxpayers currently owe $522 million from the last two bond measures.) This group was inspired to oppose Measures Q and R on the November 2012 ballot because the school board requires its construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions to work on Sacramento City Unified School District contracts. In fact, the leading spokesperson to pass Measures Q and R is school board member Patrick Kennedy, who has been and may still be employed by Sacramento construction trade unions or affiliated entities.

The Sacramento City Unified School District sold notorious Capital Appreciation Bonds to bury future generations in debt. These are bond issues for which investors collect a huge amount of compound interest when the bonds mature, rather than getting interest payments at regular intervals and then getting the principal back when the bonds mature.

Fair and Open Competition – Sacramento submitted excellent arguments against Measure Q and against Measure R for the official voter information guide. They tried to discourage Sacramento area business groups from knee-jerk “it’s for the kids” endorsements of Measures Q and R. Finally, they established a web site to make a logical, fact-based case against borrowing more money through bond sales to investors. As I declared in a Tweet yesterday, “Never before has a campaign web site so thoroughly analyzed and hammered a California school construction bond measure: http://fairandopencompetitionsacramento.com.”

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board has not taken a position yet on Measures Q and R. On October 14, 2012, the Sacramento Bee endorsed Measures Q and R (Sacramento City Unified School Bonds Are a Smart Investment for Students), with the Project Labor Agreement policy as the only negative reference:

Opponents object to the district’s use of project labor agreements for large projects – as has this editorial board. But the district points out that only 14 of 74 projects since 2005 have had project labor agreements. Union and nonunion shops get a chance to bid on the vast majority of projects under $1 million.

2. WEST CONTRA COSTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT – $360 Million Measure E

The Official Statement for the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s latest bond sale contains some harsh facts about this fiscally irresponsible, mismanaged school district in an economically struggling area. Residents and businesses in this school district have taken on a staggering amount of debt through construction – $1.77 billion to date by borrowing money from five bond measures since 1998. (A sixth attempt failed in 2003.) Five is not enough, so now there is the $360 million Measure E.

Chevron owns 13.1% of the assessed property value of this district, and what will happen when Chevron finally decides to shut down its Richmond refining facility? (I’ve been predicting for 14 years it will become a distribution center for fuels refined in Mexico.) And Chevron is not the only problem with the school board’s rosy expectations for future tax collection. In 2009-10, total property value tax assessment in the district dropped 12.3%, and it dropped another 7.7% in 2010-11. (It was up 1.1% in 2011-12, but that’s not a good rationale to take on more debt.)

Bond Measures for West Contra Costa Unified School District

Authorized Bond Amount. Does Not Include Interest and Fees. Does Not Include State Matching Grants.

Date of Election

Ballot Designation

Outcome

$40 million June 2, 1998 Measure E Approved by 76.0% of voters
$150 million November 7, 2000 Measure M Approved by 77.5% of voters
$300 million March 5, 2002 Measure D Approved by 71.6% of voters
$450 Million September 16, 2003 Measure C Rejected in a special election because only 59.1% of voters approved the bond measure, which needed two-thirds voter approval
$400 million November 8, 2005 Measure J Approved by 56.9% of voters
$380 million June 8, 2010 Measure D Approved by 62.6% of voters
$1.27 billion Total from five bond measures from 1998 to the present.
$360 million November 6, 2012 Approved for consideration by district voters through a resolution of the school board on August 1, 2012

No surprise, the school board requires its construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions to work on West Contra Costa Unified School District projects. It was the first school district in Northern California to adopt a Project Labor Agreement, leading the way for followers such as the Vallejo City Unified School District, the East Side Union High School District (in San Jose), and the Oakland Unified School District. (By the way, Oakland USD and East Side Union HSD also have big bond measures on the November 2012 ballot.)

Of course, the West Contra Costa Unified School District sold Capital Appreciation Bonds to bury future generations in debt. One school board member – Charles Ramsey – even recognized the risk, but voted for the West Contra Costa Unified School District to sell Capital Appreciation Bonds anyway.

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association is leading the opposition to Measure E and submitted excellent arguments against West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Measure E for the official voter information guide. Opposition also includes a small group of local activists who understand the debt implications of this latest bond measure. Unfortunately, the web presence of opposition arguments to Measure E is sparse. A local political and community activist, Charley Cowens, writes a blog called Mystery Education Theater 3000 about this district, which his kids went through, and there is also a blog called West Contra Costa Unified School District Quality Improvement Project. This is a tough place to advocate for fiscal responsibility.

Today (October 13, 2012), the Contra Costa Times newspaper endorsed four bond measures in San Francisco’s East Bay (Four School Bond Measures that We Believe Should Pass), but held off on discussing West Contra Costa Unified School District: “Five East Bay school districts seek voter approval Nov. 6 for bond measures to fund school construction. We recommend passage of four. We will consider the fifth, West Contra Costa’s Measure E, on Monday.” It looks like this district’s proposed bond measure will get a special editorial from the Contra Costa Times on Monday, October 15, 2012.

UPDATE: The Contra Costa Times slammed the proposed bond sales through Measure E at the West Contra Costa Unified School District: see Yes on Measure G, No on Measure E in West County – Contra Costa Times – October 15, 2012. The editorial points out that the official ballot information for Measure E neglects essential information for voters to consider (business as usual), including the huge outstanding debt obligations from five previous bond measures, the projected tax burden in a few years of $290 per $100,000 of property value, and the projection for repayment in 40 years at disproportionately high interest rates. The editorial concludes with this blunt statement:

District leaders say they need the additional bond money to complete their school construction program. That’s what they said 2½ years ago for the last bond measure. They claimed then that they needed more because rising construction costs had eroded their purchasing power. In today’s economy, that excuse won’t work. We endorsed the successful 2010 measure. But we warned that would be the last time. We meant it. As far as we are concerned, this train has run out of track. Vote no on Measure E.

3. SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT – $2.8 Billion Proposition Z

No, that $2.8 billion jaw-dropping figure is not a typographical error. It represents the unapologetic arrogance of a union-controlled school board that is spending itself close to bankruptcy; in the meantime, let the good times roll!

In November 2008, voters in the San Diego Unified School District approved a ballot measure (Proposition S) authorizing the school board to borrow a whopping $2.1 billion for construction by selling bonds to investors. With a new pro-union majority also elected to the school board, the board (on a 3-2 vote) subsequently required construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement to work on San Diego Unified School District construction projects of more than $1 million funded by Proposition S. Unions now have total control of the San Diego school board, which has already voted 5-0 for a union Project Labor Agreement on construction funded by the proposed Proposition Z.

Of course, the San Diego Unified School District sold Capital Appreciation Bonds to bury future generations in debt. The board passed a resolution claiming they wouldn’t sell any more Capital Appreciation Bonds. (See my article Board of San Diego Unified School District Senses Voters May Reject $2.8 Billion Bond Measure (Proposition Z) Because of Board’s Past Use of Capital Appreciation Bonds.) Now the Voice of San Diego reports (on October 12, 2012 in School Officials Pitch Prop. Z As The Only Alternative to Exotic Loans) that school district officials are claiming the San Diego Unified School District will have to sell MORE Capital Appreciation Bonds if voters reject Proposition Z. Unbelievable!

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association jumped on Proposition Z right away as unworthy of voter support. This particular taxpayers’ organization in San Diego extensively researches ballot measures and is very cautious about taking opposition positions.

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board has urged voters to reject Proposition Z: Vote No on San Diego School Bond: It Props Up a Broken Status QuoSan Diego Union-Tribune – September 22, 2012.

4. SOLANO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT – $348 Million Measure Q

The $124.5 million Measure G bond approved by Solano County voters in 2002 was not enough for the businesses and individuals who feed off money borrowed through bond sales. Especially interested in this new proposed $348 million bond measure are construction unions who obtained monopoly control of Measure G work with a Project Labor Agreement on Solano Community College District projects.

Stunningly, one of the board members – Catherine Ritch (representing Fairfield) – voted NO on putting the bond measure on the November ballot. Ritch was appointed to the Solano Community College District Governing Board in March 2012. She is not running in 2012 for a full term, so she could actually vote based on what is right for the people rather than for what is politically expedient. She also has a professional background as a legislative and administrative government analyst, so she was evidently too informed to be hoodwinked by this scheme.

The Fairfield Daily Republic newspaper was not impressed with the 6-1 vote to ask voters to borrow $348 million by selling bonds. In an August 5, 2012 editorial entitled “Board Appears Set for Local Tax Measures,” the Daily Republic said the following:

Solano Community College jumped on the tax bandwagon this week when trustees voted 6-1 to place a $348 million property tax measure on the November ballot. Trustee Catherine Ritch voted no, and for good reason. She said the finer points of the proposal had not been laid out completely for the board to consider, and called for the board to take “a deep breath” before approving the staff recommendation.

The Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group is opposing Measure Q, as reported in Opponents Mobilize Against Local Tax MeasuresFairfield Daily Republic – October 4, 2012.

In an October 13, 2012 opinion piece in the Vallejo Times-Herald (We Deserve the Entire Story on Measure Q), Eric Christen of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction considered the cost increases caused by the Project Labor Agreement on construction funded by Measure G:

…now this same college [Solano Community College District], which still has governing it three of the board members who voted for the PLA [Project Labor Agreement], wants almost $350 million for another bond measure. The reason? Measure G wasn’t large enough to cover the college’s needs. Do you think they could have used that extra $24 million they wasted under a PLA?

The SCCD Governing Board should be honest about whether or not a PLA will be used on this bond should it pass. Voters should have all the information possible before voting to put themselves another $350 million in debt, especially if what they get for that debt is reduced in value in order to placate union special interests. Every candidate running for the board should also be asked whether they would vote to have a PLA placed on Measure Q.

Board members and candidates won’t answer that question. Although the answer is YES to a Project Labor Agreement, Solano County voters won’t support Measure Q if they learn that unions will get a costly government-mandated monopoly on the work.

Solano Community College District sold $1,584,811.70 in Capital Appreciation Bonds in 2005 as part of a large package of refunding bonds. Will the college board do it again on a much larger scale when they have authority from voters to sell $348 million instead of $124.5 million in bonds?

A FINAL QUESTION: Why Should You Care?

As a beleaguered Californian bombarded by bad economic and political news every day, you may now be cynically asking, “Why should I care?” You might have these thoughts:

  • If you live in or pay property taxes to one of these four educational districts, you have probably assumed that any local community opposition to the bond measure will be weak, ineffective, and easily crushed by the bank-and-union funded campaign machine that supports it.
  • If you don’t live in nor own property in one of these four educational districts, you may conclude that citizens who choose to live there accept or are resigned to seeing their school districts waste taxpayers’ money. It’s not your problem – you live elsewhere.
  • And if you live in California but don’t own any property, you may assume that these ballot measures don’t apply to you, because you don’t pay the property taxes for the principal and interest that goes to bond investors, nor the fees to financial service companies for issuing the bonds. You think you have no financial interest in the matter.

Well, you SHOULD care, for four reasons:

  1. Imagine the power of the message voters would send to the state’s political leadership if they rejected huge bond measures to pay for construction in these districts. By using their democratic power and defeating these bond measures, California citizens would nudge their elected officials toward more accountability to the taxpayers instead of the financial industry and union lobbyists.
  2. Voter rejection of bond measures in these four districts would repudiate thoughtless borrowing, taxing, and spending, including the sale of Capital Appreciation Bonds and the adoption of public policies such as Project Labor Agreements that impose costly union monopolies on taxpayer-funded construction.
  3. Voters might encourage some relatively thoughtful school board members in these four districts and other school districts to stand up to the most absurd demands from union lobbyists for more money and more laws. (Surely there are elected board members in school districts who honestly want to focus on student academic performance and aren’t warped by selfish ambitions for higher office.)
  4. Finally, voters would send a message to every California school board member that “it’s for the children” is no longer a sufficient message in itself to collect more taxes for the purpose of repaying money borrowed with interest and fees from investment banks and insurance companies.

Californians need to realize that EVERYONE in the state pays for construction in these three large school districts. The obscure State Allocation Board regularly provides matching grants for construction projects at school districts with proceeds from bond sales authorized by three past statewide propositions totaling $35.8 billion:

Even renters and consumers pay for bond measures. Property owners consider property taxes as a cost of doing business. The tax burden “trickles down” to all Californians.

In addition, Californians need to start thinking about how some of the largest beneficiaries of these bond measures are investment banks, brokerage firms, and other corporate providers of financial services. The so-called “One Percent” makes good money off of Californians’ emotional desire to “help the children.” School districts borrow money now and arrange for property owners to pay it back, along with significant interest payments and financial transaction fees.

Future generations of Californians are going to be crushed under the burdens of debt repayments for the school construction programs of today. For example, the debt of the San Diego Unified School District for school construction bonds was listed in May 2012 at $4.7 billion. It’s time to Close the Spigot and protect those future generations.

San Diego Unified School District: the Only Local Government in California Evading Labor Compliance Fees to the California Department of Industrial Relations

The Ziggurat Exterior

I requested public records from the State Allocation Board‘s Office of Public School Construction (part of the California Department of General Services) to find out which educational districts in California were slipping out of the state’s new requirement to pay fees to the State Public Works Enforcement Fund, which supports the Compliance Monitoring Unit of the California Department of Industrial Relations.

The Ziggurat Interior

School districts (K-12), community college districts, and other local governments pay these fees to support the agency’s monitoring and enforcement of contractors complying with laws related to state-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”).

Personnel at the state’s obscure but powerful Office of Public School Construction were prompt and efficient in getting me the information, and I was able to obtain the records in person at the Department of General Services offices in the beautiful Ziggurat in West Sacramento.

Only one school district is avoiding the fees: the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). It submitted four applications for state grants to the State Allocation Board via the Office of Public School Construction to fund “New Construction (Overcrowding Relief Grant)” on four projects: The Language Academy (low bid $10 million), Euclid Elementary School (low bid $7 million), Zamorano Elementary School (low bid $8.4 million), and Encanto Elementary School (low bid $5.7 million). See the four applications here.

Administrative offices of the San Diego Unified School District.

In the funding applications for each of those projects, the San Diego Unified School District checked off a box in Question 17 (“Prevailing Wage Monitoring and Enforcement Costs”) indicating that the monitoring requirement to be used by the school district will be “Collective bargaining agreement, pursuant to Labor Code Section 1771.3(b)(3).”

This means that the San Diego Unified School District won’t need to pay fees to the state for labor law compliance activity on these projects because contractors working on them have to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions. (See the special SDUSD “Project Stabilization Agreement” web page here for details.) In other words, the state is exempting the San Diego Unified School District from paying mandatory labor compliance fees because the school board requires contractors to sign a union agreement!

Under state law (Assembly Bill 436) and California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 16452, the fee assessed by the Department of Industrial Relations cannot exceed one-quarter of one percent of the total amount of the total project construction costs. The State Allocation Board includes the costs of these fees in the funds it distributes to school districts.

The total cost of these four San Diego Unified School District projects is $31.1 million, meaning the school district was able to evade costs of $777,500 in fees to the California Department of Industrial Relations as a result of the school board requiring contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions.

Unions Have Promoted Complex Labor Compliance Schemes in California for Twenty Years

Since the early 1990s, construction trade unions have lobbied the California State Legislature to implement various schemes meant to supplement the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (headed by the Labor Commissioner) in its monitoring and enforcement of construction contractor compliance with California’s laws related to state-mandated construction wage rates (“prevailing wages”) on public works projects.

Basically, union leaders and lobbyists imposed and expanded complicated, convoluted, burdensome wage rate mandates on public works contractors for each trade in various geographical regions (based on the jurisdictions of unions as defined in collective bargaining agreements). Then they complained when the state bureaucracy could not actively scrutinize all of their non-union competitors for possible violations of those laws.

For example, as cited in the committee bill analyses for Senate Bill 588 (2001), which allowed union-affiliated labor-management cooperation committees to obtain addresses and (initially) names of workers on certified payroll records, unions argued that “Because DLSE has only 20 field investigators and 6 auditors in the public works unit, that agency cannot adequately enforce the law on more than 22,000 public works projects each year.”

Reflecting the political priorities of unions during the administrative of Governor Gray Davis (1999-2003), the University of California Labor Program – flush with taxpayer funding starting in 2000 – produced a report about the history and status of the state’s labor law enforcement agencies. Even while continually pushing for new labor laws, union officials and lobbyists called for more state funding for labor law enforcement, perhaps as part of the plot outlined in the guidebook first widely circulated in the early 2000s entitled Using the California Labor Laws Offensively: Organizing Through Enforcement of State Employment Laws.

Unions Exempted Their Construction Monopolies Under Project Labor Agreements from Labor Compliance Fees with Assembly Bill 436

The latest union-backed labor compliance scheme was enacted in 2011, after the California State Legislature gutted and amended Assembly Bill 436 on August 30, 2011 and turned it into a bill establishing new guidelines for local governments building projects using funding from four statewide bond measures. Here is a list of the four state bond measures covered by this law:

  1. The $13.05 billion Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 47, approved by 59% of voters in November 2002).
  2. The $12.3 billion Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004 (Proposition 55, approved by 50.9% of voters in March 2004).
  3. The $3.34 billion Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002 (Proposition 50, approved by 55% of voters in November 2002 – note, don’t confuse this proposition with the $2.6 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002 – Proposition 40 – on the statewide ballot in March 2002).
  4. The $9.95 billion Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century (Proposition 1A, approved by 54% of voters in November 2008).

AB 436 requires school districts, community college districts, water districts, the California High Speed Rail Authority, and the now-disbanded San Diego Model School Development Agency to pay a fee to the California Department of Industrial Relations, in an amount “sufficient to support the department’s costs in ensuring compliance with and enforcing prevailing wage requirements” as well as “labor compliance enforcement” on projects funded by the four state bond measures listed above.

The bill included a couple of exceptions under which these local governments do not have to pay a fee to the state for labor law monitoring and enforcement. One exception applies to local governments that already established in-house labor compliance programs under old laws that the state enacted in 2002 (but subsequently repealed) – a technical matter.

But there was also an exception based on politics that earned the criticism of business associations and various newspaper editorial boards. Assembly Bill 436 was peppered with this provision for every kind of local government: “if it enters into a collective bargaining agreement that binds all of the contractors performing work on the project and that includes a mechanism for resolving disputes about the payment of wages.”

A “collective bargaining agreement that binds all of the contractors performing work on the project” is a Project Labor Agreement.

Assembly Bill 436 was authored by Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) and supported by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.

A Project Labor Agreement Doesn’t Ensure Contractors Are Complying with Labor Laws

I’ve heard union officials say at local government meetings over the years that there would be no need for the government to monitor contractors for labor law compliance if the government required all of its contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) with unions. Allegedly, unions check the paperwork and certified payroll records of their signatory contractors to make sure those companies aren’t violating the law.

Associated Builders and Contractors – California Cooperation Committee (ABC-CCC) investigated contractor labor law compliance for projects at the City of Milpitas and the Los Angeles Unified School District on which contractors were required to sign Project Labor Agreements with unions. ABC-CCC found numerous violations and disproved this contention. In fact, the discovery suggested that having a Project Labor Agreement (ironically) encourages labor law violations because chances are lower than people will be snooping around looking for them.

Despite these cases, the California State Legislature passed AB 436 to ensure that school districts that require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions are rewarded for reducing the number of bidders and participating subcontractors (i.e. cutting competition) and raising costs of behalf of construction unions.

Did the San Diego Unified School District Operate a Flawed Labor Compliance Program?

A study commissioned by the San Diego Unified School District and released by Rea & Parker Research in November 2011 about the performance of the district’s Project Labor Agreement reports “There has been an increase in reporting violations and deficiencies pertaining to labor compliance since the PSA was adopted.” Without evidence, the report goes on to contend that “the increase is due to increased attention to worker payroll and benefits under the PSA than before…” It also suggests that “It is known that PSA projects grant access to union representatives and that deficiencies may be due to increased attention to labor issues, and it may be that this increased attention may have resulting (sic) in increased protection of the wages and benefits of workers than may have existed prior to the PSA.”

Well, the unions will certainly cite this sentence as (unsubstantiated) “proof” that Project Labor Agreements provide sufficient monitoring and enforcement of contractor compliance with laws concerning state-mandated construction wage rates. But how did Rea & Parker isolate the Project Labor Agreement as a cause of the increase in discovered violations? There is at least one additional variable Rea & Parker Research should have considered: the operations of the twelve-year old San Diego Unified School District’s in-house labor compliance program.

The California Department of Industrial Relations has allowed the San Diego Unified School District to operate its own in-house labor compliance program under the strict criteria of California Labor Code 1771.5(b) since it first approved the program on September 14, 2000. When the school district sought permanent approval for its own labor compliance program a year later, it claimed that the program was “successfully operated since September 14, 2000” and provided documentation to the Department of Industrial Relations that “demonstrates SDUSD’s ability to monitor and enforce Public Works Prevailing Wage law consistent with CCR §16434 and Labor Code §1771.5.”

Was the San Diego Unified School District labor compliance program failing to fulfill its claims of successful operation, and if so, should the California Department of Industrial Relations retroactively revoke the program’s approval for the nine years before the school district implemented the Project Labor Agreement for the first project in the fall of 2009?

This is a serious matter that has implications for school district finances and for the paychecks of construction trade employees of many contractors that worked for the school district over the past twelve years. The standard project cost threshold for state-mandated construction wage rates is $1000. But local governments operating labor compliance programs approved under California Labor Code Section 1771.5 are qualified to set a higher project cost threshold of $25,000 for construction work and $15,000 for alteration, demolition, repair, or maintenance work.

For example, according to this report, in 2009-10 the San Diego Unified School District was able to exempt 114 contracts worth a total of $11,583,770.80 from state-mandated construction wage rates. In 2010-11, the San Diego Unified School District was able to exempt 258 contracts worth $61,822,251.08 from state-mandated construction wage rates, as reported here.

I expect there will be much more extensive research into the labor compliance program at San Diego Unified School District, now that the school board has placed a $2.8 billion bond measure on the November 6, 2012 ballot and passed a resolution to lock that taxpayer-funded work under a union Project Labor Agreement.

$500 Million California School Construction Funding Program for Career Technical Education – 5 1/2 Years Later, Is the Program a Success?

I think California taxpayers deserve to hear and know a lot more about the status and results of the significant investment of taxpayer funding on the construction and improvement of California school district facilities designated for career technical education (vocational education).

For example, has statewide demand for building these school facilities faded since the big mid-2000s push for career technical education led by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? How many students have been using these facilities, and is the rate of use increasing?

Why have some school districts not claimed the funds approved by the State Allocation Board for their career technical education facility funding?

Have there been cases in which school districts used career technical education funds to build facilities that were not used for that purpose in the end? Which school districts are guilty?

Has anyone investigated or audited some of these new or renovated facilities to determine they are actually being used for their intended purposes?

Which of the 15 sectors of career technical education have been most popular in terms of requests for state funding? Here’s the list:

  1. Agriculture and Natural Resources
  2. Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  3. Building Trades and Construction
  4. Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  5. Energy and Utilities
  6. Engineering and Design
  7. Fashion and Interior Design
  8. Finance and Business
  9. Health Science and Medical Technology
  10.  Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  11.  Information Technology
  12.  Manufacturing and Product Development
  13.  Marketing, Sales, and Service
  14.  Public Services
  15.  Transportation

I’ll open this issue by presenting some of the background on funding and grants.

Voters Approved $500 Million in State Matching Grants in 2006

Go back in your memory to the halycon days of the fall of 2006: the economy was booming, house prices were sky-high, construction was happening everywhere, people were paying for luxury goods and services, and taxpayers were feeling generous. And the Schwarzenegger Administration was focused on encouraging “career technical education” to train the future workforce of California for all of the anticipated new construction jobs and other jobs requiring craft skills (see list of 15 sectors, above).

So, it was a ripe time to ask California voters to approve a $10.4 billion bond called the Kindergarten–University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006. It was placed on the ballot through Assembly Bill 127, supported by most Democrat legislators, opposed by many Republican legislators, and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger. The ballot measure included $500 million for the construction of facilities related to career technical education programs – see California Education Code Section 101012 (a)(4).

The 2006 ballot argument in support of Proposition 1D claimed that “Many students need vocational training instead of college, but our schools do not have up-to-date facilities to provide it. 1D will enable schools to provide the career and technical training many students need to get jobs.” The 2006 ballot argument against Proposition 1D claimed the program was “untested.” (See ballot arguments here.)

Well, more the five years later, the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP) has been “tested.” How is it doing? Have the difficult economic circumstances of the past five years cooled the enthusaism for career technical education in California schools?

Some School Districts Aren’t Asking for Their Approved Funding. Why?

The State Allocation Board allocates or apportions school construction matching grants administered by the Office of Public School Construction in the California Department of General Services.

I was inspired by an article posted on the web today (Dormant School Construction Projects Face Closer Scrutiny – June 5, 2012 – SI&A’s Cabinet Report) to examine the list provided by the Office of Public School Construction of construction projects approved for state matching grants but not funded to date. There is a large cluster of career technical education projects on the list. See the list – arranged by school district – at the end of this article. No reasons are given on the chart as to why the school districts have not requested the funds.

Funding Approval Has Declined, and Money Is Unexpectedly Still Not Allocated

The State Allocation Board reports that it made $33,031,490 in unfunded approvals available to fund applications submitted for a third funding cycle – a cycle not required in law but made possible when the $500 million was not used up in the first two rounds. It reported awarding $199 million in the first round. Despite a claim from the California Department of Education that “it is anticipated that all of the funds will be exhausted,” the second round resulted in apportionment of another $220 million for a total of about $420 million. (It is hard to pin down the exact numbers, for example, this legislative committee analysis for Senate Bill 1380, dated June 30, 2010, claimed that a total of $409 million had been apportioned in the first two cycles, while this analysis for SB 1380 dated April 15, 2010 reported that a total of $417.2 million had been apportioned in the first two cycles.)

According to a “Report of the Executive Officer” for the April 25, 2012 State Allocation Board meeting, “74 Career Technical Education Facilities Program applications totaling approximately $103.6 million in State funds have been received by the Office of Public School Construction as part of the third funding cycle, but have not been approved by the Board due to insufficient bond authority…An additional 73 Career Technical Education Facilities Program Board-approved projects totaling $94.4 million in State funds are currently on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans).”

The California Department of Education has a web site summarizing the program. For some reason, the Department of Education has not posted statutorily required status reports about the program since 2010. The State Allocation Board also has a web site about the program.

As a layperson looking at this program, I find it frustrating and difficult to figure out what’s going on. There should be a single site that informs taxpayers of what has been allocated to specific Career Technical Education Facilities Program projects, which applications for funding are up for approval, which projects are approved, and which projects have been approved but not funded and the reason why they are not funded. Perhaps I am naive to expect that kind of information?

In addition, there is a lot of terminology thrown about, such as “approved,” “allocated,” “apportioned,” “disbursed,” “awarded,” and “available.” It’s hard to untangle.

Proposed Legislation Suggests Either Fraud or Changing Needs in School Districts

Senate Bill 1380 (introduced in 2010) would have changed the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (authorized by the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998) to require school boards to pass a resolution indicating that school facilities constructed or modernized with specified bond funds set aside for career technical education purposes would be used for career technical education purposes for a minimum of five years. SB 1380 also allowed a school board to seek a waiver of the career technical education use requirement from the State Allocation Board if school district enrollment changed, if enrollment in career technical programs changed, if the district was unable to hire qualified instructors, or if “labor market demands” changed.

In support of this bill, Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), a member of the State Allocation Board, cited “several implementation problems with the CTEFP program, including LEAs constructing or modernizing CTE facilities and then using them for non-CTE programs.”

Despite passing through the legislature without any votes against it, Senate Bill 1380 was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger with this message:

For years many career technical education (CTE) programs and facilities have been ignored or eliminated altogether. However, during my time in office the state has made substantial investment in CTE. This bill stands to threaten the recent investments in this area, as well as the significant momentum we have achieved. By allowing CTE bond funds to be used for CTE investments with just a five year minimum lifespan, and for non-CTE related purposes, this bill seriously risks jeopardizing the quality and scope of investments we make in these facilities.

Note that this bill originally proposed transfering $200 million from the Overcrowded Relief Grants Program to the Career Technical and Education Facilities Program (CTEFP), because it was anticipated that the $500 million would be exhausted in the third round of funding. According to this legislative committee report for SB 1380, applications totaling $231 million were submitted for the third round. (Once again, figures are inconsistent from source to source.)

More Suggestions of Fraud or Changing Priorities for School Districts?

When Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad/San Juan Capistrano) was appointed to the State Allocation Board in January 2012, he issued a press release entitled “Shaking Things Up at the State Allocation Board” with these remarks:

In addition to exploring in-depth how funds are allocated, this position also creates an opportunity to further promote career technical education (CTE). CTE courses engage and stimulate students with hands-on training in a wide array of fields, leading to greater student success following graduation.

Under a law I authored in 2007, applicants for bond money are required to detail how schools would use funds to house CTE programs. Unfortunately, it appears that many applicants fail to meet this requirement. With this new position I intend to bring attention to CTE and ensure that California’s schools are offering students the opportunities and resources that they deserve.

School Districts with Unfunded Approvals for Career Technical Education Construction Facility Matching Grants from the State Allocation Board under Proposition 1D

ALAMEDA COUNTY – DUBLIN UNIFIED 59/75093-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/11/2010  $533,605

ALAMEDA COUNTY – NEW HAVEN UNIFIED 59/61242-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/23/2010  $394,342

BUTTE COUNTY – CHICO UNIFIED 55/61424-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 6/6/2008  $3,000,000

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – PITTSBURG UNIFIED 59/61788-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 2/26/2010  $1,409,655

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – SAN RAMON VALLEY UNIFIED 55/61804-00-005 Career Tech New Construction 3/25/2010   $817,130

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY – SAN RAMON VALLEY UNIFIED 55/61804-00-006 Career Tech New Construction 3/25/2010   $412,085

EL DORADO COUNTY – EL DORADO UNION HIGH 59/61853-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/26/2010  $821,617

FRESNO COUNTY – KINGS CANYON JOINT UNIFIED 55/62265-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $3,000,000

KERN COUNTY – KERN COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION 55/10157-98-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/29/2010  $723,600

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-017 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $434,224

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-019 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $79,997

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-020 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $826,720

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-021 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $838,925

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-022 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $192,803

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-027 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $596,824

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-029 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $723,188

KERN COUNTY – KERN HIGH 59/63529-00-030 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010  $152,203

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – ARCADIA UNIFIED 55/64261-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $2,316,200

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – ARCADIA UNIFIED 59/64261-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010  $470,962

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LONG BEACH UNIFIED 59/64725-00-003 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/11/2010  $1,500,000

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LONG BEACH UNIFIED 59/64725-00-004 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/11/2010  $1,500,000

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-007 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $1,963,579

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-008 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $3,000,000

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-009 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $1,225,266

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-009 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $1,774,734

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-011 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $2,413,880

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 55/64733-00-013 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010  $1,533,959

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 59/64733-00-027 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010  $50,000

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – LOS ANGELES UNIFIED 59/64733-00-028 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010  $1,401,783

MADERA COUNTY – CHAWANAKEE UNIFIED 55/75606-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/16/2010   $2,086,640

MONTEREY COUNTY – MONTEREY COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION 59/10272-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/30/2010  $660,837

NAPA COUNTY – NAPA VALLEY UNIFIED 55/66266-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010   $465,127

ORANGE COUNTY – TUSTIN UNIFIED 59/73643-00-003 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010   $73,732

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – BEAUMONT UNIFIED 59/66993-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/30/2010   $1,335,796

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – DESERT SANDS UNIFIED 55/67058-00-003 Career Tech New Construction 3/10/2010   $2,130,036

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – DESERT SANDS UNIFIED 55/67058-00-005 Career Tech New Construction 3/10/2010   $1,040,611

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – DESERT SANDS UNIFIED 55/67058-00-006 Career Tech New Construction 3/10/2010   $2,666,732

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – RIVERSIDE UNIFIED 59/67215-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/24/2010   $579,687

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – COLTON-REDLANDS-YUCAIPA ROP 59/74138-00-015 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/30/2010   $2,050

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – RIALTO UNIFIED 55/67850-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/3/2010   $1,926,384

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – RIALTO UNIFIED 59/67850-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/3/2010   $1,114,449

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – SWLINE JOINT UNIFIED 55/73957-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/3/2010   $1,093,051

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – SWLINE JOINT UNIFIED 55/73957-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 3/3/2010   $1,031,968

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – CORONADO UNIFIED 59/68031-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $1,360,199

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – GROSSMONT UNION HIGH 55/68130-13-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/30/2010   $3,000,000

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 55/68338-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/22/2010   $2,918,735

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 55/68338-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 3/22/2010   $986,812

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 55/68338-00-004 Career Tech New Construction 3/22/2010   $1,470,162

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $1,427,767

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-002 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $473,045

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-004 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $1,380,824

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-006 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $473,110

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-007 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $1,022,484

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – SAN DIEGO UNIFIED 59/68338-00-008 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/22/2010   $1,500,000

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – MANTECA UNIFIED 55/68593-00-004 Career Tech New Construction 3/22/2010   $2,253,216

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – STOCKTON UNIFIED 55/68676-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 3/29/2010   $3,000,000

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – STOCKTON UNIFIED 59/68676-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/29/2010   $1,499,715

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – TRACY JOINT UNIFIED 59/75499-00-007 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010   $514,087

SAN MATEO COUNTY – SEQUOIA UNION HIGH 55/69062-00-004 Career Tech New Construction 3/30/2010   $2,073,405

SAN MATEO COUNTY – SEQUOIA UNION HIGH 55/69062-00-006 Career Tech New Construction 3/30/2010   $3,000,000

SAN MATEO COUNTY – SEQUOIA UNION HIGH 55/69062-00-007 Career Tech New Construction 3/30/2010   $3,000,000

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – CAMPBELL UNION HIGH 55/69401-00-007 Career Tech New Construction 3/8/2010   $625,964

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – CAMPBELL UNION HIGH 59/69401-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/8/2010   $1,003,238

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – CAMPBELL UNION HIGH 59/69401-00-002 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/8/2010   $610,353

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – GILROY UNIFIED 59/69484-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010   $1,191,901

SANTA CLARA COUNTY – PALO ALTO UNIFIED 55/69641-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 3/30/2010   $3,000,000

SIERRA COUNTY – SIERRA-PLUMAS JOINT UNIFIED 55/70177-00-001 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010   $174,412

SISKIYOU COUNTY – SISKIYOU UNION HIGH 55/70466-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 4/1/2010   $296,772

SISKIYOU COUNTY – SISKIYOU UNION HIGH 59/70466-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010   $143,380

SONOMA COUNTY – SANTA ROSA HIGH 55/70920-00-002 Career Tech New Construction 3/26/2010  $1,332,711

STANISLAUS COUNTY – CERES UNIFIED 59/71043-00-003 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/25/2010   $1,201,300

STANISLAUS COUNTY – MODESTO CITY HIGH 59/71175-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 4/1/2010   $337,760

SUTTER COUNTY – YUBA CITY UNIFIED 59/71464-00-001 Career Tech Rehabilitation 3/30/2010   $839,622