State Budget 2017-18 Update: Governor Addresses Proposition 51 Implementation

State Budget 2017-18 Update: Governor Addresses Proposition 51 Implementation

The Governor’s Budget proposal contains good news for school facilities, as well as some challenges. With regard to the implementation of Proposition 51, the Governor stated his willingness to work to have Proposition 51 funds flow to school projects. The challenges will be implementing the audit provisions that Governor Brown wants before allowing Proposition 51 funds to flow. Concerning Proposition 39 energy efficiency funding, the Governor proposes $422.9 million for K-12 school districts and charter schools, which is a significant investment.

CASH has always supported accountability for spending taxpayer funds. We have a stated policy that every public funded school project should be audited. If there are changes needed, we look forward to making those changes as soon as possible. We believe the audit guide concern can be addressed immediately without legislation because the guide is developed by the State Controller, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of the Department of Finance. If legislation is needed to have a long-term statutory authority, CASH believes that can be done through a budget trailer bill. We will have more updates in the coming days as more details become available. Below is a summary of the proposed State Budget relating to school facilities.

K-12 School Facilities

“The recently approved Kindergarten through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016 (Proposition 51) authorizes $7 billion in state general obligation bonds for K‑12 schools to be allocated through the current School Facilities Program in place as of January 1, 2015. As the State Allocation Board and the Office of Public School Construction begin to consider allocation of Proposition 51 resources, it is important to address some of the shortcomings within the existing program that were recently documented in the audit findings issued by the Office of State Audits and Evaluations in a 2016 audit of Proposition 1D School Facilities Program expenditures. In that audit, it was determined that 1,533 projects representing over $3 billion in Proposition 1D funds have been completed without ensuring the bond funds were appropriately expended. The audit found instances in which school districts inappropriately used school facilities bond funding to purchase vehicles, tractors, tablets, golf carts, mascot uniforms, and custodial/ cleaning supplies. To ensure appropriate usage of all School Facilities Program bond funds and effective program accountability and oversight, the Administration will work with the State Allocation Board and the Office of Public School Construction to revise policies and regulations to implement front‑end grant agreements that define basic terms, conditions, and accountability measures for participants that request funding through the School Facilities Program.

To complement this front‑end accountability, the Administration will introduce legislation requiring facility bond expenditures to be included in the annual K‑12 Audit Guide. Independent auditors will verify that local educational agencies participating in the School Facilities Program have appropriately expended state resources.

Once these measures are in place to verify that taxpayers’ dollars are appropriately used, the Administration will support the expenditure of Proposition 51 funds.”

~ CASH Staff

Now that Proposition 51 Passed, When Will the School Construction Dollars Start to Flow?

December 12, 2016

Over the weekend, the East Bay Times published an article about the implementation of Proposition 51. Read the full article below.

Now that Proposition 51 Passed, When Will the School Construction Dollars Start to Flow?

~ CASH Staff

Appointment of Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell to the State Allocation Board

December 6, 2016

The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) is pleased to announce that Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell has been appointed to the State Allocation Board.  OPSC welcomes the Assembly Member to the State Allocation Board and looks forward to working with him on school facilities issues.

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Meeting Notes – December 2016

December 5, 2016

The State Allocation Board (SAB) met today and approved the consent only agenda. The consent agenda included Facility Hardship projects and close out items.

There was no discussion of the passage of Proposition 51. We expect some discussion of Proposition 51 implementation at the January SAB meeting.

CASH will be discussing implementation issues at the Proposition 51 Post-Election Debriefing workshop which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento on December 12, 2016.

To register for the workshop, please use the following link: https://www.cashnet.org/meetings/2016_Workshops/SpecialDecember2016Workshop.htm.

~ CASH Staff

DSA Hourly Fee Rate Change

November 18, 2016

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) is increasing the hourly fee for plan review services for K–12 public school districts, community college districts, and state agencies. Starting January 1, 2017, the fee will increase from $170 to $215 per hour.

This is the first increase to the fee since May 1, 2013. Going forward, the fee will be adjusted annually using the first January issue of Engineering News-Record’s U.S. 20 City Construction Cost Index. The fee amount shall be set to cover the costs incurred by DSA in carrying out its responsibilities on the date of services rendered.

IR A-30: DSA Hourly Fee Services (PDF – 180 KB) now reflects the new hourly fee structure and clarifies when the hourly fees apply. DSA updated the examples within the document to reflect the calculation of fees under various scenarios involving the application fee, actual construction cost, and changes during construction.

Please direct any questions to Jim Hackett, Principal Structural Engineer, Code, and Standards Unit, at jim.hackett@dgs.ca.gov.

Yes on Proposition 51 Issues Statement on Passage of State School Facilities Bond Measure

November 9, 2016

The Yes on Proposition 51 campaign issued the following statement after learning that the state school facilities bond measure passed with 54% of the vote.

California voters chose to invest in students and to fulfill the promise of a robust public education system. Voters understood that students – from kindergarten through community college – cannot be adequately prepared for a modern workforce or higher education without safe, well equipped school campuses. This investment means science labs, health and safety repairs and funds for career technical education facilities and school districts all over the state are grateful for voters’ support,” said Jenny Hannah, Chief Facilities Officer at the Office of the Kern County Superintendent and Chair of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing.