Stifel is the leading underwriter of California K-12 school district bonds. We assist local districts in providing financing for facility projects and cash flow borrowing, including new construction, modernization, renovation, and technology improvements. Our work with California school districts includes general obligation bonds, Mello-Roos bonds, certificates of participation, leases, bridge financings, TRANs, the refinancing or restructuring of previously issued bonds, and preparing financial analysis for bond election planning.

What does Stifel do?

  1. We assist in determining the most appropriate type of bond financing
    • General obligation bonds
    • Special tax bonds
    • Lower outstanding debt service
    • Certificates of participation and lease revenue bonds
  2. For bond financings that require voter approval, we prepare the financial analysis used to determine the amount of the bond authorization and associated tax rates.
  3. We serve as the intermediary between the school districts who seek to borrow money from investors to fund their facility projects and the investors who seek to purchase bonds of California school districts.
  4. Our goal is to help school districts issue bonds for facilities at the lowest possible borrowing cost.

STIFEL's Local Community Presence

Stifel’s local community presence includes 250+ California Private Client Group sales executives who manage over $31 billion in assets. These sales representatives are spread throughout 38 offices which cover all geographic regions of the State. The benefit of having an expansive team dedicated to individual retail investors is the ability to provide local invest opportunities such as purchasing school district municipal bonds.

STIFEL's Local Community Presence

About GO Bonds

GO Bond Overview

Go Bond Overview

General obligation bonds (“GO bonds”) for California school districts are voter-approved debt which are repaid by ad valorem property taxes and are primarily used to finance the acquisition and construction of school facilities. The legal authority to approve GO bond debt falls under Proposition 46 of 1986 and Proposition 39 of 2000. The main difference between the two propositions is the voter approval threshold. Proposition 46 requires a two-thirds vote and Proposition 39 requires a 55% vote. Bonds authorized under Proposition 39 have annual tax rate limitations ($60 per $100,000 of assessed value (“A.V.”) for unified school districts and $30 for elementary and high school districts), and bonds authorized under Proposition 46 do not. For additional information, please contact a member of our California School Group.


  • Land Acquisition
  • Purchase or Construction of New School Facilities
  • Renovation & Repair of Existing School Buildings
  • Furnishing & Equipping School Facilities
  • Technology Improvements & Equipment

2020 GO Bond Elections

2018 Go Bond Elections

Proposition 39 elections may occur only on the same dates as statewide primary, general or special elections, or on a date coinciding with a regularly scheduled local election.

Date of Election Last Day for Governing
Board to Adopt Resolution
Calling Election
March 3, 2020 December 5, 2019
November 3, 2020 August 6, 2020

Note: Last day for Governing Board to adopt resolution calling bond election may vary by County.

STIFEL's Prop 39 vs Prop 49 Success Rates

After a Successful Election

Selling Your General Obligation Bond

After the celebrations have subsided following your district’s successful bond election, the practical rewards of the election victory become more apparent as you turn your attention to the sale of the bonds which will provide funds for spending on needed facilities projects. This is typically a three-month process that consists of the steps outlined below.

  • Preparation of legal and finance documents
  • Receive governing board approval for the sale of bonds
  • Conduct discussions with credit rating agencies
  • Receive credit rating for the bonds and consider bond insurance
  • Distribute bond prospectus to potential investors
  • Sale of bonds to investors, finalizing the structure of the bonds and interest rates
  • Closing of bond issue and delivery of bond proceeds to the County Treasurer on behalf of the district
  • Coordinate with the County Auditor-Controller for the levy of a property tax for the payment of semi-annual debt service on the bonds

Fabric of Society

The Fabric of Society Scholarship Program began in California in 2009 awarding $2,000 scholarships to 20 graduating seniors from 20 public high schools across the State. The experience and response from the students was so overwhelming that the Fabric of Society essay contest became an annual program. In April 2014, Stifel expanded the scholarship program nationwide. Hundreds of students from across the country participated in this year’s contest. The program now awards 50 scholarships to 50 high school seniors from across the nation. Since 2009, we have awarded $766,000 – 383 scholarships of which 253 were awarded to students in California.

Fresno Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Phillip Tapia

Hesperia Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Alfonso Aguirre

Los Angeles Unified School District

2018 Winners

  • Stephany Chavez
  • Steve Cayetano
  • Kimberly D. Rivas Arias
  • Marco Antonio Vargas
  • Helen Michelle Hernandez

McFarland Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Monica Naranjo

Oakland Unified School District

2018 Winners

  • Sara Ahlich
  • Joanne Yan
  • Rachel Gold

Orange Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Janette Avalos

Paramount Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Diego A. Mejia

Ripon Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Mallory Michelle Brubaker

Sacramento City Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Olga Tatar

San Diego Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Trung Hieu Dinh

San Francisco Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Thi Nha Luc

San Jacinto Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Esmeralda Rizo

Val Verde Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Wendy Elisa Gonzalez Gomez

Washington Unified School District

2018 Winner

  • Giselle Vera

STIFEL Contacts

Southern California | Los Angeles Office

Dawn Vicent

Dawn Vincent
Managing Director

Robert Barna

Robert Bama
Managing Director

Northern California | San Francisco Office

Bruce Kerns

Bruce Kerns
Managing Director

Erica Gonzalez

Erica Gonzalez
Managing Director

Roberto Ruiz

Roberto J. Ruiz