Do we really need a new sports complex...now?

At last night’s board meeting, Beaumont Teacher’s Association President, Trina Brown, raised the issue of treating the proceeds from the recent sale of the district office to the city as surplus property. There was an item on the agenda addressing the new district office building and a new sports complex. The agenda item indicated the funds for the new projects would be a combination of Measure Z bonds proceeds and proceeds from the sale of the district’s property to the City of Beaumont. I went online this morning and searched for more information regarding surplus properties and school districts. I found the following article New Law Allows School Districts Increased Flexibility in Use of Surplus Property Proceeds.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
Under existing law (Cal. Educ. Code §17462), school districts are limited in using funds from the sale of surplus property for capital outlay or costs of maintenance of school district property that the governing board determines will not recur within five years. Section 17462 does not allow school districts to deposit surplus property sale proceeds into their general funds unless they demonstrate to the State Allocation Board (SAB) that they have no anticipated need for the money over the next ten years.

Under the newly added section 17463.7, school districts may sell surplus property and use the proceeds for any one-time general fund purposes. Section 17463.7 applies to proceeds from property purchased with local funds, general obligation bond funds or income from developer fees.

The district should be very familiar with section 17463.7 of the Education Code; it was submitted as an ammendment by our assembly member, Mr Bogh, to the State Education Code in 2005. It was specifically requested by the Beaumont Unified School District. The above article refers to this section as a "newly added section". I don't know if the "Beaumont Bill" was approved in 2005 and the above article may be incorrect, but check out this link to the 2005 submitted version.

And for some more interesting reading see this article, click here.

If the property qualifies, the State of California has authorized school districts to use this money “for any one-time general fund purposes”. The district must demonstrate “that they have no anticipated need for the money over the next ten years”. When the assistant superintendent of business services, Mays Kakish, was asked about this she, acknowledge the recent change to the special BUSD law, but went on to explain they have to wait for escrow to close before they can do anything.

Before any of these funds are used for a new sports complex, or new district offices, parents should demand this board instructs the administration to use these funds to reduce the class sizes to at least the numbers the board authorized last year (21-1 for 1st-2nd grades and 33-1 for all other grades) and bring back some transportation for our kids who are miles away from the schools.

Last year the board discussed closing a school to cut the budget. If the Measure Z funds can’t completely finance the district's new offices, they can share a school site until our budget is back in order. If this board won’t lead the administration to do what is best for our kids, each trustee must answer to parents and tell us why they are putting new offices and a new sports complex ahead of our children.