School District Refinances Bonds: By J. DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Friday November 26, 2004

In a time of fiscal problems affecting all government agencies, the Berkeley Unified School District announced last week that all the news isn’t bad: BUSD staff has completed a refinancing of the 1992 Measure A bonds that is expected to save the district $3.2 million over the next 20 years. 

The refunding of the three general obligation bonds issued under Measure A will drop the interest rates paid by Berkeley taxpayers from between 5.7 and 6.1 percent to 3 percent across the board. 

“This is not a typical method of cost cutting we might think of, because we are usually looking for direct income or savings to our budget,” said Superintendent Michele Lawrence. She credited the refinancing idea to Deputy Superintendent Glenston Thompson, who has been with BUSD for three months and is considered the district’s chief business officer. 

The soft-spoken Thompson himself said that the refinancing was merely “being good stewards and good decision-makers over the use of the District’s financial assets. I’m just glad to be able to do my part as a member of the BUSD team.”i