Antioch School Board approves sale of $10.75 million in bonds to improve district’s older schools

Approves Human Trafficking Awareness Month resolution for January, and other recognition days, weeks and months including LGBTQ PRide Month for June

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Wednesday night, the Antioch School Board trustees unanimously approved the sale of $10,750,000 in bonds for improvements to schools most of which are located in the older parts of town. The funds are remaining from a total of $61.6 million in bonds included in the district’s Measure C vote approved by Antioch voters in June 2008. The vote also formed School Facilities Improvement District No. 1. (See details, here: Resolution 2019-20-31 SFID No. 1 General Obligation Bonds)

According to the district’s website, the schools included in SFID-1 and the year they were built are as follows:

Elementary Schools – Belshaw, 1954; Fremont, 1953; Kimball, 1950; Marsh, 1947; Mission, 1973; Muir, 1990; Sutter, 1964; and Tuner, 1968.

Middle Schools – Antioch, 1964 and Park Middle School, 1959.

High Schools – Antioch High School, 1954; Bidwell Continuation, 1958; Live Oak, 1978; and Prospects, 1992.

According to the staff report, “The District desires to initiate proceedings for the issuance of bonds with respect to its School Facilities Improvement District No. 01. A new bond series will be issued to finance additional voter-approved capital projects in the District pursuant to the authority of Measure C.

The resolution authorizes the bonds to be issued as traditional, tax-exempt general obligation bonds pursuant to provisions of State law. The bonds will be payable from the levy and collection of ad valorem property taxes on SFID No. 1 properties. The bonds are authorized to be issued as current interest bonds only. Capital appreciation bonds are not authorized.”

Dave Olson of Backstrom, McCarley, Berry & Company gave a presentation on the bond sale. AUSD 1.22.20 Sale of Series E Bonds Presentation

“There are two sides to a bond. There’s the proceeds and the repayment,” he said. “The revenue is going to come in over the first 8 to 10 years and then the payments will last 30 years.”

“The annual property tax will be $60 per $100,000 in value,” Olson stated “This is only going to be another $10 million which will help.” The funds are in addition to the $56.5 million in bonds from Measure B passed by voters in November 2012 for improvements to Antioch High School, and Measure T, the $105 million bond on this year’s March 3rd ballot. (See related article)

Recognition of Special Days, Weeks and Months

The board also approved a resolution recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness month, and a variety of recognition days, weeks and months, including African American History, National School Counseling Week, Music in Our Schools Month, National Women’s History Month, Read Across America Day, Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, Autism Awareness Month, National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, and Fund Education Now Week. AUSD Resolution – Human Trafficking

Trustee Ellie Householder asked about the LGBTQ Month recognition.

“Why is this coming before us, now?” she asked. “Isn’t this for June?”

“The board wanted to bring this in a timely manner,” said Superintendent Stephanie Anello. “So, we’re bringing half of them, now and half of them later.”

All of the items passed on unanimous votes.

“I just want to let you all know we are all five going to sign proclamations,” Board President Diane Gibson-Gray stated.

Dallas Ranch Middle School Parent Liaison

In other matters, on a 4-1 split vote the board approved a contract between Dallas Ranch Middle School and parent Velma Wilson, who has been a volunteer in Antioch schools. She regularly attends board meetings and has been a vocal critic of both former Antioch School Board trustee Debra Vinson and current trustee Crystal Sawyer-White, who removed the agenda item from the consent calendar.

Wilson will act as a parent liaison to increase parental engagement at Dallas Ranch Middle School. She will work with site administration to foster greater parental involvement so staff can work collaboratively with parents and students to improve student achievement. The scope of work includes forming parent connections with the school, being present during school events and functions, supporting the school’s social media sites, organizing parent town hall meetings and providing information about school and district resources.

“I compared similar positions with other districts,” Sawyer-White said Will there be any kind of data report? It also says cohesiveness with teachers and families. I think that should be with the board.”

“Absolutely,” responded Bridget Spires, principal of Dallas Ranch Middle School. “Every family we work with, we are keeping a comprehensive view of each student. We’re also going to have her update our Facebook. When we have events at the school, she’s there taking photos. She’s documenting some things that are specific to our school.

The funds are being spent out of the school site’s LCAP funds, Anello explained.

“I’m almost embarrassed to say we were only able to offer her $4,000 for this particular role,” said Spires. “She’s been volunteering at our site for several years.”

“I don’t question what you’re doing, I’m really happy what you’re doing,” Trustee Mary Rocha said. “It doesn’t just happen if you open the door and say, ‘come in’. Not all schools can afford this. But this is a start.”

Velma Wilson then spoke on the matter, blasting Sawyer-White.

“I really do want to address…because Crystal brought up cohesiveness on our school sites,” she said. “How many parents are really coming to our school board meetings? None. This really isn’t about you. I have invited you on a variety of occasions. I’m at every last school site doing a lot of work. Mary Rocha has been a proud supporter. I’m bilingual. I make the effort…to address them the way they feel comfortable. This isn’t about cohesiveness with you. All the other school board trustees I have a good relationship with. One day you’ll get it. One day you’ll understand this is about the schools. It ain’t about the money, to me. It’s about the work and it’s about the lives of these students. I break my back to try to do what I can for these kids, and they don’t even belong to me. So, it ain’t about you Crystal. It’s about these kids.”

“I’m going based on comments from parents. It’s not about me,” Sawyer-White responded. “I do have a son in special education. Other parents are asking me, can we all just work together. Not attend board meetings where someone is coming at someone else negatively. I just had some questions about this position. But, if you’re going to be friendly with the parents, let’s all get along. It’s a new year. I just believe that we should all be able to get along as a whole.”

The board approved the item on a 4-1 vote, with Sawyer-White voting against.

Copies of this school board agenda and its attachments are located on the Internet at Click on To watch the entire school board meeting visit their YouTube page.

the attachments to this post:

AUSD Resolution – Human Trafficking

AUSD 1.22.20 Sale of Series E Bonds Presentation

Resolution 2019-20-31 SFID No. 1 General Obligation Bonds

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