CA Schools have $37 Billion in Unissued Bonds

February 26, 2014

California’s pot of school bond money may be empty, but school and community college districts have more than $37 billion in authorized – but unspent – school-construction bonds, according to a report by the state’s debt commission.

Since November 2002, there have been 681 school and community college elections that yielded about $90.1 billion in voter-approved borrowing authority to build and modernize schools. Yet only about $52.6 billion of those bonds have actually been issued, according to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission report last week.

The report comes as several rounds of school bonds authorized by state voters – most recently in November 2006 – are nearly exhausted. Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, is working on legislation for a new state school bond in November, but no proposal has emerged.

Any plan for a new bond would have to win over Gov. Jerry Brown. In his proposed budget earlier this month, Brown voiced skepticism about local school projects relying on significant help from the state.

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