The Measure EE citizens oversight committee for the Saugus Union School District approved its annual report, which indicated the district has funded a number of projects in accordance with Proposition 39.
The Measure EE citizens oversight committee held a special meeting on Wednesday evening to hear from committee membership and officers how funds from Measure EE, a general obligation bond measure, were used from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
“The (committee) met regularly and all documentation is posted on the district website,” wrote John Estrada, the chairperson for the Saugus’ district Measure EE oversight committee, in the staff report. “The (committee) reviewed and discussed relevant reports and other information and determined that Measure EE funds were expended only for authorized Measure EE projects.”
According to the Smaller Classes, Safer Schools and Financial Accountability Act, Prop 39, a ballot measure passed in 2000, K-12 jurisdictions could incur bond debt for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of K-12 facilities if approved by 55% of the local jurisdiction voters. Prop 39 also establishes that property taxes could exceed the 1% limit to repay the bonds.
Under the initiative, a provision was set for bond money to be used only to purchase facilities and equipment, a list of school projects with a certification of need by the school district, and a requirement of an annual independent financial and performance audits, until all of the proceed have been used.
So, a citizens oversight committee is a requirement for school districts to access these Measure EE bond funds. The purpose of the committee is to increase transparency between the public and school districts.
The citizens oversight committee report for the Saugus district regarding Measure EE bonds during the 2020-21 period indicate the district was able to complete several projects including new energy-efficient HVAC units, LED lighting, multi-purpose buildings and upgrades, classroom constructions, roof replacements and fire alarm replacement.
According to Estrada, they also received the 2021 Measure EE audit from accounting firm EideBailly, in connection with expenditure and use of bond funds, and committee members, after reviewing the audit, did not find any irregularities or failures to comply with statutory and Constitutional requirements.