For the ninth year, the Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee presented its annual report to the Board of Education in February, providing an overview of the past fiscal year.
“The 2016-17 year was an exciting one for the school district’s bond program,” said COC Chair Rosi Pedersen. “Not only did LBUSD embark on an unprecedented number of construction and renovation projects, but we saw voters overwhelmingly approve a $1.5 billion facilities bond measure—the largest in LBUSD history.”
On the heels of the passage of Measure E in November 2016, planning was immediately fast-tracked to prepare for the first phase of campus modernization to equip every school in the district with updated air conditioning and heating systems.
The report provided an update on expenditures and program highlights. It noted: “The goal of the school bonds program is to bring all LBUSD schools up to modern standards, enabling students to maximize their potential in a new global environment.
"Since 2009, more than 140 bond projects have been contracted, are in progress or completed. All schools have been outfitted with wireless communications, and many have been upgraded with new alarm systems, accessibility ramps and elevators and other health and safety improvements.
"During the 2016-17 fiscal year, several major rebuilding projects at five high schools – Sato, Jordan, Renaissance, Wilson and Polytechnic – progressed toward completion, and brand new Browning High School was finalized for opening in the fall of 2017.”
The COC is charged with overseeing the school bond expenditures (Measure K and E) to ensure compliance with law. Bond funds must be used for upgrading and building schools; they cannot be used for general operations.
An annual review by an independent auditor found all expenditures to be appropriate, awarding the school district with the highest rating for compliance.
Members of the COC are Rosi Pedersen, Maria Slaughter-Williams, Dan Minkoff, Heather Morrison, Mario Ernesto Gonzalez, Walter Larkins and Keva Green. Each volunteer member is appointed by the Board of Education for a maximum of three two-year terms.