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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Special District

Carlsbad Unified School District
Measure HH Bond Measure - 55% Approval Required

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Election Results


21,416 votes yes (62.5%)

12,844 votes no (37.5%)

100% of precincts reporting (57/57).

37,496 ballots counted.

School Bond
— undefined

To upgrade classrooms, science labs and technology that support student achievement, college preparation and career skills for math, science, engineering, healthcare and skilled trades; fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing/wiring; improve safety and security; renovate, construct, acquire classrooms, sites, equipment/facilities, shall this Carlsbad Unified School District measure authorizing $265,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, levying 3 cents/$100 assessed value ($13,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, be adopted, with taxpayer oversight, no administrator salaries, all money staying local?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by League of Women Voters North County San Diego

The Question

Should the Carlsbad Unified School District authorize $265 million in general obligation bonds to upgrade classrooms and fix deteriorating school facilities?

The Situation

The District serves a population of over 110,000 residents at 14 schools. Many of the schools are over 50 years old, leading the District to recently renovate seven schools as well as open a new high school in 2014. In 2017 the District conducted a facility needs assessment as detailed in a 2018 Long-Range Facility Master Plan.

Recent renovations and construction were financed through a $198 million general obligation bond (Prop P approved by 69.1 percent of voters in 2006). Prop P bond dollars are expected to be depleted by the fall/winter of 2019.

While local schools receive funding from the State for operational costs, State funding is not sufficient for capital improvements like renovation of older campuses or new construction.

General obligation (GO) school bonds are secured by the taxing power of the school district and are offered for sale at fixed rates of interest until maturity. In 2013 State legislation (AB 182) capped school bond interest rates at 8 percent and limited the debt ratio of interest to principal paid for each bond series to 4-to-1.

The Proposal

Measure HH would raise $265 million over ten years through the sale of tax-exempt general obligation bonds to pay for the District’s master plan. The cost of the bonds and interest would be paid for by levying a property tax of about $34 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The bond revenues would not be used to reimburse the District’s operating budget or for administrative or teachers’ salaries. By California law, a seven-member Citizens Oversight Committee will be appointed to audit the management of the new bond.

Measure HH requires 55 percent of those who vote on it in order to pass.

Fiscal effect

Repayment of the bond’s principal and interest is expected to cost Carlsbad property owners $457 million over the expected 34-year repayment period. The debt payback ratio is projected to be 1.72-to-1, favorably lower than the State maximum of 4-to-1. Payback calculations assumed a 4 percent growth rate in Carlsbad’s assessed property valuation, conservatively lower than the City’s 20-year historical average of 7.43 percent.

In about 10 years when all of the bonds for Measure HH are sold and added to the remaining Prop P debt of $187 million, the District’s total bond indebtedness would be $452 million.

Supporters say

  • Measure HH will upgrade 50-year old schools and ensure all facilities meet students’ academic and safety needs, preparing them for in-demand careers.
  • Measure HH ensures local control and strict accountability of spending. These funds cannot be taken by the State or used for other purposes.

Opponents say

  • Adding Measure HH on top of Prop P will worsen the Carlsbad district’s share of standard property tax revenue, growing faster than population and inflation.
  • California has a current budget surplus, which could be directed to repair and upgrade of Carlsbad’s schools.

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A "YES" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $265,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

NO vote means

A "NO" vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $265,000,000 in general obligation funds.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

San Diego County Counsel

This measure was placed on the ballot by the governing board of the Carlsbad Unified School District ("District"). This measure, if approved by 55% of the votes cast on the measure, will authorize the District to issue and sell $265,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The sale of these bonds by the District is for the purpose of raising money for the District, and represents a debt of the District. In exchange for the money received from bondholders, the District promises to pay the bondholders an amount of interest for a certain period of time, and to repay the bonds on the expiration date. 

Voter approval of this measure will also authorize an annual tax to be levied upon the taxable property within the district. The purpose of this tax is to generate sufficient revenue to pay interest on the bonds as it becomes due and to provide a fund for payment of the principal on or before maturity.

Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure may be used by the District for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities.

The interest rate on any bond, which is established at the time of bond issuance, could not exceed 12% per annum. The final maturity date of any bond could be no later than 40 years after the date the bonds are issued, as determined by the District.

The tax authorized by this measure is consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution. The California Constitution permits property taxes, above the standard 1% limitation, to be levied upon real property to pay the interest and redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness for, among other things, the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, when approved by 55% of the voters if:

(1) the proceeds from the sale of the bonds are used only for the purposes specified,
(2) the District evaluates safety, class size reduction, and information technology needs to approve a list of specific projects to be funded,
(3) the District conducts an annual, independent performance audit to ensure funds have been expended on the specific projects listed, and
(4) the District conducts an annual, independent financial audit of bond proceeds.

Additionally, if the bond measure is approved, state law requires the District to establish an independent citizens' oversight committee. The District has made this ballot measure subject to these legal requirements.

Approval of this measure does not guarantee that the specific projects listed by the District will be funded by the sale of the bonds.

A "YES" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the District to issue and sell $265,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

A "NO" vote is a vote against authorizing the District to issue and sell $265,000,000 in general obligation funds.

Tax rate

Superintendent, Carlsbad Unified School District


An election will be held in the Carlsbad Unified School District (the “District”) on November 6, 2018, to authorize the sale of up to $265,000,000 in bonds of the District to finance school facilities as described in the proposition. If the bonds are approved, the District expects to issue the bonds in multiple series over time. Principal and interest on the bonds will be payable from the proceeds of tax levies made upon the taxable property in the District. The following information is provided in compliance with Sections 9400 through 9405 of the California Elections Code.

1. The best estimate of the average annual tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue over the entire duration of the bond debt service, based on assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is between 3 cents and 3.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The final fiscal year in which the tax to be levied to fund this bond issue is anticipated to be collected is fiscal year 2052-53.

2. The best estimate of the highest tax rate that would be required to be levied to fund this bond issue, based on estimated assessed valuations available at the time of filing of this statement, is between 3 cents and 3.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in fiscal year 2019-20.

3. The best estimate of the total debt service, including the principal and interest, that would be required to be repaid if all of the bonds are issued and sold is approximately $456,813,940.

Voters should note that the estimated tax rate is based on the ASSESSED VALUE of taxable property on the County of San Diego official tax rolls, not on the property’s market value. Property owners should consult their own property tax bills to determine their property’s assessed value and any applicable tax exemptions.

Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District’s projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District. The actual tax rates, debt service and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimate, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuation over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.

Dated: 8/7, 2018.

Benjamin Churchill Ed.D,
Carlsbad Unified School District

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR


Vote YES on Measure HH to:

  • Make critical updates to Carlsbad schools
  • Maintain a safe, modern learning environment
  • Prepare students for college and in-demand careers

Vote YES on Measure HH to prepare college-bound Carlsbad students for success and ensure those who don’t plan to go to college receive the career training needed to compete for highpaying jobs.

Some of our Carlsbad schools are over 50 years old and don’t have modern classrooms, science labs or instructional technology. Measure HH will replace aging education facilities and upgrade older schools to meet the same academic and safety standards as newer schools.

Measure HH will also upgrade school security systems like door locks to better protect our students in an active shooter situation.

Vote YES on HH:

  • Upgrade classrooms and science labs to support high-quality instruction in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math
  • Repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing and inefficient heating, cooling, electrical and water systems, where needed
  • Keep computer systems and instructional technology up-to-date
  • Upgrade science labs, engineering labs and career technical education facilities to prepare students for college and in- demand careers
  • Improve student safety and security at all schools

Measure HH Means Local Control and Fiscal Accountability:

  • All Measure HH funding will be used in Carlsbad Unified School District schools to support our students and could never be taken by the State or used for other purposes
  • Strict accountability required, including a detailed project list, Citizens' Oversight Committee and independent audits to ensure all funds are spent properly
  • By law, no Measure HH funds can be used for administrators’ salaries or benefits

Even if you do not have school-age children, Measure HH will protect our quality of life and the value of our homes in Carlsbad.

Join Carlsbad parents, teachers, businesses and community leaders – vote YES on HH!

Athena Runner, President, Carlsbad Unified Council of PTAs

Haney Hong, President and CEO, San Diego County Taxpayers Association

Ahmed Haque, Chairman of the Board, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce

J. Scott Runner, Chairman of the Board, Carlsbad Educational Foundation

David Tweedy, PhD, Longtime Carlsbad Resident

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST


No argument against the measure was filed in the office of the Registrar of Voters.

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

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Due to its length and complexity, the full text of this measure will not be entered into Voter's Edge by a League of Women Voters volunteer. Instead, Voter's Edge is pointing to a PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters:

To find your own sample ballot version, containing all the candidates and measures on your own ballot, please use the ROV's sample ballot look-up tool at .

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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure HH

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure HH

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

Contact Info

Yes on Measure HH
Friends of Carlsbad Schools 2018
2588 El Camino Real, Box F292
Carlsbad, CA 92008
No on Measure HH
Not available.
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