Author Archives: CASH Staff

Thank You 2017 Fall Conference Sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of the 2017 CASH Fall Conference.  The conference would not be as successful without the help of these generous sponsors.

3QC
American Modular Systems/Gen 7 Schools
Balfour Beatty Construction
Colbi Technologies
Cooperative Strategies, LLC
Culver-Newlin School and Office Furnishings
Dannis Woliver Kelley
Davy Architecture
DC Architects
DLR Group
Extron Electronics
ForeFront Power, LLC
Harris & Associates
HMC Architects
Kitchell CEM
Koppel & Gruber Public Finance
Lionakis
LMA
Lundgren Management Corp.
PBK
Pro-Craft Construction, Inc.
Sage Renewable Energy Consulting
School Facility Consultants
STIFEL
SVA Architects, Inc.
Swinerton
WLC Architects, Inc.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 CASH Fall Conference, October 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.

Please note: This is a new location.

~ CASH staff

Opinion: State Must Fulfill Voter Mandate to Fund School Construction

As a follow up to our Sell Bonds Press Conference, please see an opinion piece written by former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and Lisa Gonzales, President of the Association for California School Administrators for the Bay Area News Group.

~ CASH Staff

Opinion: State Must Fulfill Voter Mandate to Fund School Construction


By JOAN BUCHANAN and LISA GONZALES |

Research shows that school facilities have a significant, positive impact on school culture, academic performance, student attendance, and teacher retention and job satisfaction.

Students need facilities that, for example, have working air-conditioning, upgraded security and electrical systems, and modern classroom infrastructure that supports technology.

For school districts to meet those needs, school districts partner with the state to fund major rehabilitation projects and build new schools where needed. But today there is more than a $2 billion backlog of school construction project applications that have been submitted to the state and are awaiting action.

To understand how the funding works: School districts collect developer fees, pass local school facilities bonds and then apply to the state for matching state grant funds. Periodically, voters choose to replenish the fund that provides the state matching grants through passage of a statewide school bond initiative.

Continue reading

State Allocation Board to Meet December 6, 2017; Priority Funding Requests Due December 7, 2017

The State Allocation Board (SAB) meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, 2017 has been cancelled, and the next SAB meeting will be Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.  The next Priority Funding filing period (Round 14) opens Wednesday, November 8, 2017 and any requests to participate are due by Thursday, December 7, 2017.  Requests must be signed by an authorized District Representative and received by the Office of Public School Construction by 5:00 p.m. December 7, 2017.  Priority Funding requests submitted during Round 14 are eligible for an Apportionment from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018.

In order to participate in the Priority Funding round, projects must have already received an Unfunded Approval from the SAB.  Projects that receive an Unfunded Approval at the December 6 meeting are eligible to participate in Round 14 but must meet the December 7, 2017 submittal deadline.

Projects that receive an Unfunded Approval on December 6, 2017, will also be subject to nonparticipation regulations.

Click here for more information on the Priority Funding process.

~ Rebekah Cearley, CASH Legislative Advocate

Request for Signature Assembly Bill 203 (O’Donnell)

The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) supported Assembly Bill 203 by Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell. This bill has passed the Legislature and is awaiting action by Governor Brown. AB 203 will help small districts and give school districts and design professionals more flexibility in designing school classrooms. AB 203 will help implement the Next Generation classrooms needed by students and teachers. It also provides the flexibility needed to implement the design research that helps increase academic achievement. Please write or e-mail Governor Brown and urge him to sign AB 203. The message can be short, such as:

Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA
95814

I am (identify yourself by profession) who urges you to sign Assembly Bill 203. This legislation will give school districts and design professionals the flexibility they need to design research based and energy efficient classrooms for students and teachers.

Thank you,

(your name)

Click Here to send your e-mail to the Governor.

Thank you for helping CASH.

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Approves $443.6 Million in Projects on the Unfunded List

Today, September 6, 2017, the State Allocation Board (SAB) met to take action on School Facility Program (SFP) funding apportionments.  The Board approved this item which provides approximately $443.6 million in SFP apportionments for 135 projects from 70 school districts.  These are projects on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) that have submitted priority funding requests and were eligible for apportionment.

CASH submitted a letter to the Board which raises an objection to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) using 2012 grant amounts for the projects being apportioned in September 2017.  CASH believes that the traditional SAB policy of using the grant amounts at the time of apportionment should be retained, which ensures that hardship districts and districts that could not move projects forward and are awaiting state matching funds, will not face fiscal difficulties from construction cost escalation between the date of their application and the date of apportionment. The SAB chose to use the 2012 grant amounts, and CASH believes that school districts with projects on the September 6, 2017 SAB agenda should have the opportunity to appeal to the SAB if they believe they are being harmed.  This appeal process should be similar to the “do-no-harm” appeal policy adopted by the SAB when the Board adopted Option 1 at the June 5, 2017 Board meeting.

~ CASH Staff

CASH Legislative Update

The Senate Appropriations Committee held its final hearing of the year, and two bills of interest to CASH were approved.  The following is a brief summary of the bills and the Committee vote.

More detailed information to follow:

AB 203 (O’Donnell) – School Facility Program/Flexibility

Requires the California Department of Education to establish standard for use by school districts to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities are educationally appropriate and promote school safety.  The bill also requires the standards to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities provide school districts with flexibility in designing school facilities.  This bill was approved on a 7-0 vote.

AB 746 (Fletcher-Gonzalez) – Water/Lead Testing

Requires schools to test for lead in potable water systems at every school site within its jurisdiction at least once a year or once every three years depending on whether a building was constructed on or after January 1, 1993.  If the tests show elevated lead levels (15 parts per billion/United States Environmental Protection Agency Standard), the school must notify parents and guardians of the elevated level and provide information on lead developed by an agency with expertise in lead.  This bill was approved on a 7-0 vote.

~ CASH Staff

 

New California Supreme Court Opinion

The new opinion by the California Supreme Court appears to have almost no effect on schools. The opinion, California Cannabis Coalition et. al.  v. City of Upland et.al,. is a very narrow opinion dealing with an issue that is a local government, but not school district, series of Constitutional and statutory  provisions on local initiatives to place revenue measures on the ballot.

The issue revolves around which ballot – general election or special election if placed on the ballot at all. Cities and counties have much broader revenue raising ability than schools.  For example, a city council can vote to increase certain revenues without a vote of the people if a local initiative to increase that revenue has qualified for the ballot. School boards have no such authority.

The exercise of that authority was part of the case that was decided by the Supreme Court. Because schools do not have this authority, and for many other reasons, the decision probably will have no or very little effect on school districts.

However, subsequent litigation on issues, such as voter approval requirements lower than 2/3 for special taxes, raised in the case but not decided by the court could affect schools – but that is something that is a long way down the legal road with no clear outcome.

~ CASH Staff