Public Plan -- California School Bonds Clearinghouse
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The Public Portion of Your Plan

This page reveals portions of the plan to deal with your district, whether it already has or is in any of the stages of moving toward a measure that gives it more taxpayer money, secured by property in the district.

This public plan is purposely general and incomplete. In the Art of War, you do not telegraph your goals, strategies, and actions to the enemy -- the district Board and administration, the special interests, and the enablers.

To participate in the detailed goals, strategies, and actions that the clearinghouse has available, you must be cleared and vetted. You can start that process by going to the District List and signing up as a watchdog for each district in which you have a serious interest.


If you're not prepared, you'll be surprised and scrambling when the shoe drops.

Trying to gather information in the heat of the moment causes stress and the likelihood of making strategic errors. Most of the information that might be useful is of a relatively fixed, static nature. It can be gathered over time. Having information at your fingertips when things are happening all around you is priceless.

Not having the information when its needed is very likely to cause you to miss opportunities.

Does Your District Has Existing Proposition 39 Bonds?

If your district already has bonds that were passed since November 2000, the district has an obligation to provide all kinds of information that should be (but usually isn't) available to the public without even having to ask for it.

Step 0: Read The Art of War by Sun Tzu

There are enemies in your midst, spies around every corner, and friends that really aren't. It's just part of life. The book is really short and available in audio format. I recommend reading it again at every stage. You will gain new insight each time.

Step 1: Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee [CBOC]

By law, everything you need to know about the CBOC (one for each measure) should be on the district's web site. If it isn't, start making inquiries to get it.

You can start with the members of the CBOC and their contact information, the agendas and minutes of every meeting, the annual reports, and every piece of information that the district has made available to the CBOC to enable it to perform its oversight.

Good luck!

Step 2: Governing Board and Administration

Knowing the members of your Board can be very useful. Don't assume that you know them, even if you are friendly terms with them. There are always things going on behind the scenes that influence people.

For the Board and key administration personnel, it is very helpful to know relationships, especially familial and business relationships. Many Board members are also public employees in other government agencies. While Board members must live in the district, administrators may live outside of the district. Many of these key personnel have public resumes that can give you insight into who they are connected with.

Step 3: The Press

The local newspapers are the first place to learn who covers the education beat. To a lesser extent, radio and television reporters and hosts may also be useful, but less so in large metropolitan areas.

Besides the traditional press, there are almost always people who maintain blogs or news groups that cover education issues. In addition, almost any organized group, such as taxpayer associations, tea parties, civic organizations, etc. may also have press-like features. Any group that has a regular audience can be considered the press for your purposes.

Compiling a list of names is critical. A list of newspapers or blogs without identifying those that have a particular interest in education or government is useless. You must be able to reach identifiable individuals when you need to.

Stage 1 - Talk of Bonds

There is mention of the district considering bonds, either at a public meeting or in press accounts.

Stage 2 - Community Support

Your district is waging a public relations campaign, usually starting with parent groups, to promise them the moon and the stars.

Stage 3 - On the Agenda

Your district is preparing to take official action.

Finale - On the Ballot

The measure is on the ballot.


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