The Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) has approved a 675-million-dollar bond resolution for the March 5, 2024, ballot. The Resolution, “12/2023-2024: Resolution of the Board of Education of Desert Sands Unified School District Ordering an Election, and Establishing Specifications of the Election Order,” was approved by a 5-0 vote. According to the tax rate statement issued by the DSUSD, the total repayment taxpayers will be on the hook for is $1.371 BILLION, $1,371,994,476 to be exact. DSUSD taxpayers, their children, and their grandchildren will be paying on the bonds until at least 2054.
The actual resolution that voters will see on the ballot next March, at this point reads:
“To upgrade classrooms, science labs, career-training facilities, and instructional technology to support college/career readiness in math, science, technology, engineering, arts/skilled trades; safeguard student safety; fix deteriorating roofs, plumbing, electrical, ventilation systems; repair, construct, acquire classrooms, facilities, sites/equipment; shall Desert Sands Unified School District’s measure authorizing $675,000,000 in bonds at legal interest but without increasing current tax rates be adopted, levying $60 per $100,000 assessed value ($45,000,000 annually) while bonds are outstanding, with citizen oversight/audits?”
In the actual resolution however, which contains 21 “Whereases,” or reasons for the bond, the district seems to make removing/replacing cancer-causing asbestos and lead pipes a major priority. The priorities were gleaned from a district issued survey that asked voters to prioritize the issues. The DSUSD put that question in the survey, with no evidence that asbestos and lead pipes were an issue. Fear.
DSUSD does not specify which schools contain asbestos or lead pipes that carry drinking water. In fact, a search of five years of board agendas does not produce any reports of asbestos or lead pipes in district schools. Going back even further, even the local Gannet News propaganda outlet (The Desert Sun) reported in a March 16, 2016, article that there were no water-carrying lead pipes in the district. The article detailed that while there were lead pipes found in some California schools, none were found in the Coachella Valley.
Water agency officials in the Coachella Valley said they were unaware of any lead service lines in use locally. Still, 98 public water systems in California recorded high lead readings from 2012 through 2015. None of them were in Riverside County.
Thus, the inclusion of “asbestos” and “lead pipes” by the DSUSD in the survey and the bond resolution, seems disingenuous if not downright fearmongering, to gain support from voters to place the next generation in debt.
During the bond discussion at the November board meeting, the student board member was the adult in the room, asking how much the bonds would cost. Adam Bauer, a representative of Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates, Inc explained away the student’s concerns by stating that, unlike other districts, the DSUSD has a very good credit rating and would only have to repay just over twice the amount of the bonds. Board trustee Michael Duran simplified the issue by equating the $1.375 BILLION voters (and their children) would be on the hook for, to borrowing $50 and having to repay $100. What a deal! Board trustee Humberto Alvarez posited that the bond is not a new tax, it is just continuing what the district already owes. What is new, however, is the $60 per $100,000 that property owners will have to pay. So… a new tax.
Another stated reason for the bonds is a desire for student safety—by adding “security fencing” and “security cameras”—which would seem unnecessary if our southern border was afforded the same accord.
The resolution also claims that DSUSD voters tax rates will not increase, “only extended,” yet seems to contradict themselves by stating that the “tax rate levied will not exceed Proposition 39 limits of $60 per $100,000 of assessed value of property.”
The board further claims that the bond money will only be used for the stated purposes and in no way will go to teacher or administrator salaries. However, one of the stated purposes is to reduce class sizes. The board does not stipulate how class sizes can be reduced without hiring more teachers.
Digging further down, in exhibit B of the resolution, the DSUSD lists all possible [pet] projects the bond money will be used for. But the list also raises questions as to exactly what the district’s intent is, and unintended consequences.
For instance, one stated project is renovating and adding student and staff restrooms. Is the intent to renovate the restrooms in accordance with the woke agenda? i.e. adding tampon machines to boys’ restrooms, or even co-ed restroom so that boys pretending to be girls, and girls pretending to be boys can use the same restroom? Given the fact that the DSUSD holds they can keep “gender transitions” a secret from parents, will the parents be notified if that is the case? Additionally, and from personal experience, restrooms on some DSUSD campuses are regularly shut down during the day due to graffiti, illegal activity, or to make monitoring easier for security and administration.
Another woke project is to add EV chargers to campus. Without getting into the discussion of how terrible electric cars are for the environment (search cobalt mining), how exactly would the coordination of on-campus EV charging work? Would students and staff miss instructional minutes when their cars are charged to allow others to miss instructional time to take their turn in the que?
Another questionable project is “wellness centers,” which in woke-speak refers to “safe-spaces” where students encounter activist therapists’ intent on adding to the mentally unstable gender transitioning population.
More projects include installing [China enriching] solar panels, building administrative spaces and support facilities, signage and fencing, demolition of unwanted structures, emergency generators, outdoor learning environments, ID cards, laser printers, digital white boards, and a data center. Data center? To collect and store personal student data with the help of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s family-owned Panorama education data collection “surveys”? One cannot help but wonder.
The most egregious “Whereas,” or reason for the bond, is the whine that the State of California simply does not give the DSUSD enough money. That the board can state this with a straight face after wasting millions upon millions of dollars on DEI indoctrination and Covid “safety” equipment is beyond belief. Keep in mind, California government is controlled by teachers’ unions. Check the history of any bad law regarding kids, the handprints of teachers and administrator unions will usually be found.
According to the DSUSD 2020-2021 LCAP annual update (pg. 53), DSUSD spent $2,467,305 on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), plastic shields, hand sanitizer, cleaning equipment, portable sinks, and equipment to promote social distancing during that time span.
Of course, as some community members tried to tell the district at the time and is proven through hundreds of peer-reviewed studies now, masks (PPE) do not stop a virus, and are even harmful to health. Even the CDC admitted the social distancing propaganda had no rhyme or reason—it just sounded good. Read more here, or just listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Additionally, the DSUSD spent $7,998,679 on increased custodial cleaning of “common and high touch point areas.” Distance learning technology saw expenditures of $15,674,547.
According to the California state reports, the DSUSD received $13,646,386 from Covid “first apportionment,” and $20,276,853 from Covid “second apportionment” from California.
Keep in mind that all this wasteful spending was done while mocking the community members that had the courage to publicly stand up at board meetings and urge the board to practice a modicum of critical thinking. The efforts of the community members were in vain, however, as the DSUSD continued to do what their betters— “the State of California” — told them to do. The DSUSD infamously insisted that DEI and CRT ideology did not exist in the district, right before creating new teacher and administrative positions for Ethnic Studies classes and DEI oversight. Hindsight should be 20/20 vision, but what good is that if we refuse to learn from history?
The DSUSD also fails to discuss risks that the bonds might bring to investors and to the district’s ability to repay. Adverse changes in the housing market, changes in real estate tax rates, natural disasters, and delinquency in mortgage rates could all have an impact on the district and the community. Those risks are discussed during the December 12, 2023, board meeting in regard to Resolution No. 14/2023-24 in the Preliminary Official Statement. That resolution is a tax on 139 new homes in the Paradiso development in North Indio.
Given the state of America’s economy under the current regime, commonly known as “Bidenomics,” and DSUSD voters struggles to keep the lights on and food on the table. Given the millions upon millions of illegal and mostly military-aged men entering the country, that Biden and Gavin Newsom dictated that our tax-monies must support, one must ask: Is this really the time to place even more of a burden on the wallets of the DSUSD community for pet projects such as safe-spaces, EV chargers, and non-existent lead pipes and asbestos?
“The East Valley Republican Women Patriots, as covered in the Uken Report, rightly labels the DSUSD bond request as a “scam.”
That equates to an additional $60 per $100,000 of assessed value of our homes, according to the group’s outspoken president Joy Miedecke. This is in addition to the school taxes we have been paying for the past several years.
“The school board is tax happy,” Miedecke told Uken Report. “We’ve had enough of higher taxes. We won’t survive, and the schools will be empty because people will have to leave our state because they cannot afford to live here. But it doesn’t matter to the politicians, they just want to gouge us out of our homes.”
In 2001, DSUSD Measure K passed for $450 million and in 2014 DSUSD Measure KK passed for another $225 million, the group argues.
Additionally, California Proposition 98 passed in 1988 mandated 40% of California’s annual income for K-14 schools. This currently is about $128 billion per year for our 941 School districts, the group states in its latest newsletter.
Furthermore, the real cost of this $675 million tax burden by Desert Sands will be well over $1 billion.
“We must pay millions more in interest to wealthy investors that purchase these bonds,” the newsletter states.
In 2000, Proposition 39 passed to lower the bond passage threshold from 2/3 to 55% of the vote. Since then, nearly all California school bonds have easily passed via uninformed and naïve voters.
Do we not pay enough for failing public education? Have we not learned that throwing millions of dollars at schools does NOT improve student performance?
Don’t be fooled! Say NO to this outrageous tax scam!
Public schools should concentrate on teaching reading, writing, math, science and factual American history, the group argues.“
More information on the scam of school district bonds, and the citizen oversight committees, can be found at bigbonds.com.
The DSUSD emphasizes that the tax will be on assessed value rather than market value, but fail to disclose that, according the Riverside County Assessor’s office that “When it is determined that a change in ownership has occurred, Prop 13 requires the reassessment of the property to its current fair market value as of the date ownership changed.” The website redfin.com states the medium housing prices for La Quinta is $747,500, Palm Desert is $581,000, and Indio is $530,00. At $60 dollars per $100,00, that means DSUSD voters will pay an (approximately) extra $360 to $420 depending on where they live. In today’s Bidenomics, that could be the difference between one trip to the grocery store…or not. One decent Christmas present for a loved one… or not.
While illegal immigrants break America’s laws by illegally crossing the border, they are awarded with a free cellphone, and enrollment into the welfare system for education, medical, and housing benefits, with no background checks or vaccine requirements. Some illegals could even get a green card and thus become Peace Officers in California, as per SB 960, signed into law by Gavin Newsom in September of 2022. Yet, the DSUSD awards legal, tax-paying citizens with another tax to pay for indoctrination wellness centers, EV chargers, and fixing non-existent asbestos and lead pipes. And, they do so by highlighting the latter in scare bold type.
If you clicked on the archived link of the resolution, or the original link, you may have noticed something peculiar. Particularly the title of the document, which reads: “Resolution ordering Election Moorpark USD.” Indeed, Moorpark USD also passed a resolution that appears to be exactly the same.
It appears that the DSUSD simply went the Harvard route, and copied and pasted the resolution from Moorpark, without any thought to specific needs of the DSUSD community. Should the taxpayers reward plagiarism?
The DSUSD voters should not reward bad behavior. We understand that schools do reward bad behavior by not punishing willful defiance, as per SB 274, which was signed into law by Gavin Newsom this past October. As adults however, bad behavior, poor policy decisions, poor monetary management, and a lack of critical thinking should not be rewarded.