Author Archives: CASH Staff

Seminars from the California Debt & Investment Advisory Commission

May 26, 2017

PUBLIC FUNDS INVESTING WORKSHOP: USING MS EXCEL

AUGUST 23, 24, 25, 2017  |  OAKLAND, CA  |  COST: $100 PUBLIC, $230 PRIVATE
This one-day workshop offered on three consecutive days uses Microsoft Excel to further participants’ understanding of key investment concepts. Participants will engage in interactive learning using their own laptops or tablets and spreadsheets to familiarize themselves with the relationship between yield, duration, and convexity. The workshop will conclude with an exercise on benchmarking. The class is limited to 20 participants per day. More information. Register.

ONGOING DEBT ADMINISTRATION

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017  |  SACRAMENTO, CA  |  COST: $150 PUBLIC, $250 PRIVATE
This seminar is designed to provide government officers with the knowledge needed to manage their responsibilities for continuing disclosure, compliance with federal arbitrage rules, and the investment of bond proceeds. Complying with both national and state-level reporting will be discussed. This seminar differs from CDIAC’s bond accountability and transparency program as this curriculum focuses on the larger practices of living with an issue over the life of the bond. More information. Register.

CDIAC’S 16TH ANNUAL PRE-CONFERENCE AT THE BOND BUYER‘S 27TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA PUBLIC FINANCE CONFERENCE

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017  |  CARLSBAD, CA
More information coming soon.

CASH Urgent Action Alert: Letters Needed from School District Members

May 24, 2017

Dear CASH School District Member:

We are writing to request your help in communicating with your representatives in the State Senate and the State Assembly to ask for their direct action to assist us in:

  1. Focusing legislative pressure on the Department of Finance (DOF) to increase school bond sales for matching funds through Proposition 51 in years 2018 and in 2019; and
  2. Communicating to the State Allocation Board (SAB) concerns as to how the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and DOF are proposing to treat districts projects negatively that are on the “Acknowledged List.”

Unfortunately, in the May Revision the DOF did not change the state’s plan to sell only $600 million in Proposition 51 bonds between now and June 30, 2018. That rate of bond sales will not even cover the new applications being filed, much less the current $2.4 billion waiting list.

In communicating with your legislative representatives we ask that you cite specific information about your District’s projects waiting for state bond funding, including estimated state bond funding amounts. We request that you speak to the need to increase state bond sale amounts for purposes of funding your projects and the $2.4 billion in the pipeline waiting for funding.

It is important to note here that it has been proposed by OPSC that the SAB consider sending projects on the “Acknowledged List” back to the applicant school districts, thus denying funding to those projects.

To date, there are $2 billion on the “Acknowledged List.” This is a combination of new construction and modernization projects. If your District has projects on the “Acknowledged List” we advise that you specifically identify those projects to your representative and detail the negative impact that the proposed action to deny funding to the “Acknowledged List” will have on your District.

We suggest also that you communicate your concern regarding the proposed OPSC/DOF “grant agreement” that is intended to be applied retroactively to all projects waiting for funding, notwithstanding the fact that contracts have been signed or that projects have been completed and occupied.

The Legislature needs to hear directly from you about the specific harm that the proposed OPSC and DOF actions will have on your district.

Again those proposed actions are:

  1. Limit bond sales;
  2. Reject projects waiting for funding on the “Acknowledged List;” and
  3. Require that a grant agreement is signed for each project retroactively.

Please review the draft letter that you may use to write your own request that the state sells more bonds faster.

Please send your letter to your State Assembly Member and State Senator.

Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter of importance.

~ Tom Duffy

May CASH Day & SAB Meeting Rescheduled to June 5

May 15, 2017

The May 24 State Allocation Board meeting has been canceled. The next State Allocation Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 5 at 4:00 pm at the State Capitol, Room 437.

The CASH Monthly Update and Annual Conference Planning Committee meetings will also be rescheduled for Monday, June 5.

~ CASH Staff

Governor Brown Releases 2017-18 May Revision

May 11, 2017

This morning Governor Jerry Brown released his 2017-18 May Revision. This update will focus on school facilities including Proposition 39. We will provide more detail on other key school facilities issues such as the bond sale amount, specific audit provisions, DIR prevailing wage monitoring program language, and state agency staffing levels as they become available. Click here to view the full revision summary.

School Facilities
At this time, it appears that the Governor is not proposing any significant changes to K-12 school facilities. The following is a quote from the 2017-18 May Revision regarding the implementation of Proposition 51:

K-12 School Facilities – A 2016 audit of Proposition 1D School Facilities Program expenditures issued by the Office of State Audits and Evaluations 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 the appropriate use of all School Facilities Program bond funds and effective program accountability and oversight, the Administration proposed the following two-fold approach in the Governor’s Budget:

  • Design grant agreements that define basic terms, conditions, and accountability measures for participants that request funding through the School Facilities Program.
  • Enact legislation requiring facility bond expenditures to be included in the annual K-12 Audit Guide, where independent auditors verify that local educational agencies participating in the School Facilities Program have appropriately expended state resources.

The Office of Public School Construction has presented a comprehensive grant agreement to the State Allocation Board for approval, and the Administration has proposed legislation to required independent audits of school facilities expenditures. It is anticipated that the State Allocation Board will take action on a final grant agreement at its next meeting. As stated in the Governor’s Budget, the Administration will support the expenditure of Proposition 51 funds when both the grant agreement and audit requirement are in place to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are spent appropriately.” (Page 19)

Proposition 39 – The California Clean Energy Jobs Act was approved by voters in 2012, and increases state corporate tax revenues. For 2013-14 through 2017-18, the measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, be used to support energy efficiency projects. The May Revision decreases the amount of energy efficiency funds available to K-12 schools in 2017-18 by $46.7 million to $376.2 million to reflect reduced revenue estimates.” (Page 20)

CASH Position
CASH is disappointed that the Department of Finance (DOF) has not taken action to sell Proposition 51 bonds to fund high priority local school construction and modernization projects. If the State Allocation Board (SAB) approves the recommendations by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and the DOF at their May 24, 2017 meeting, it would have negative and lasting effects on school districts seeking state bond funding for $2.4 billion in project funding and will be in direct violation of the law. These recommendations are contrary to the provisions of Education Code Chapter 12.5 and are specifically preserved by the unambiguous language of Proposition 51 approved by the majority of California voters. CASH believes that this may not be changed by fiat as intended by the OPSC and DOF.

~ CASH Staff

OPSC Holds Second Stakeholder Meeting on the Front-End Grant Agreement

May 8, 2017

Today, the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) hosted a stakeholder input session to receive additional feedback on the proposed front-end grant agreement for School Facility Program projects. The grant agreement was initially presented to the State Allocation Board (SAB) for discussion on April 24, 2017. At that time, the SAB did not have enough votes to pass the grant agreement as drafted, and they deferred action until the May SAB meeting.

OPSC staff began today’s stakeholder meeting by stating that concerns related to the audit trailer bill language should be brought to Department of Finance. OPSC staff then outlined items that they have identified for possible amendment prior to the next SAB meeting. Topics included, but were not limited to:

  • Which documents applicants are required to attach
  • Inclusion of a “site description”
  • Whether the definitions section should be limited to items that are unique to the grant agreement
  • Timing of when grant agreements should be executed
  • Laws and regulations with which applicants must comply
  • Impacts to the Priority Funding process
  • Expenditure report due dates and substantial progress
  • Hold harmless/indemnity provision
  • Eligible and ineligible expenditures

The issue of outlining a list of eligible and ineligible expenditures generated the most stakeholder feedback and discussion. Numerous stakeholders were concerned that expenditures on items not explicitly listed on the eligible expenditures list would not be accepted by local auditors. There were concerns that the proposed agreement would reduce the flexibility that districts have under the current grant program structure. There were also concerns voiced on behalf of Financial Hardship districts and county offices of education, which would have difficulty identifying local dollars to fund “ineligible” items such as computers.

OPSC’s goal is to bring an amended agreement to the next SAB meeting on May 24, 2017. They anticipate that the updated draft grant agreement will be available approximately one week prior to the hearing date and that the SAB agenda item will identify stakeholder feedback similar to the April agenda. OPSC anticipates that a larger regulations package will need to be brought to the SAB after the Legislature approves, and the Governor signs, the audit trailer bill language.

If you have feedback that you would like to provide, OPSC is still accepting comments on the grant agreement and requested that comments be submitted within the next few days. The current version of the grant agreement under discussion may be found here.

~ Rebekah Cearley

May Facility Planners Update

May 1, 2017

The CASH Facility Planners Meeting Update for May 2017 is now available and includes information regarding:

  • State Allocation Board Defers Action on School Facility Program Upfront Grant Agreement
  • Legislative Update
  • CASH Welcomes New Members
  • Upcoming Networking Mixers

Click here to download the Update.

~ CASH Staff

OPSC Stakeholder Meeting Notice for May 8, 2017

April 27, 2017

The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) has scheduled a stakeholder meeting for Monday, May 8, 2017, at the Department of General Services, Ziggurat building, Auditorium in West Sacramento.  The meeting is scheduled for purposes of discussing and receiving feedback related to the specific language and wording in the proposed draft grant agreement for the School Facility Program.  The NOTICE (PDF) has been posted to the OPSC website at www.dgs.ca.gov/opsc under Meeting Information and on the State Allocation Board webpage.  This meeting will also be webcast.

 

April 24, 2017 State Allocation Board Meeting – Webcast

April 26, 2017

The April 24, 2017, State Allocation Board Meeting webcast has been uploaded to OPSC YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  We apologize for the webcast link not working properly and for inconvenience this may have caused.  Thank you.

~ CASH Staff

Quarterly Message from the Chair

April 25, 2017

Continuing Our Success

A school building is more than a physical structure providing housing, light, heat, and shelter from the elements; it is the expression of the community’s commitment to education.

– Donald Leu

It is my honor to have been chosen to lead the CASH organization at this critical and exciting time. I would like to thank the CASH Board for showing their faith in me, and particularly our outgoing chair Jenny Hannah. We all know Jenny as a kind and compassionate leader, and we have also learned that she can be relentless in the pursuit of the issue that is the foundation of our organization: that the state of California must be a partner in providing resources for communities to build and maintain schools. Her leadership and effort during the Proposition 51 campaign contributed significantly to its success. Thank you, Jenny, for working in the best interests of the students and teachers of California. You made Middle Earth proud.

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Call for School Facilities Presenters, Vendors, and Participants

California STEAM Symposium 2017: December 10-11 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco

The Symposium is becoming the STEAM Symposium this year, and the thematic strands reflect the importance of braiding together science, technology, engineering, and math with art and design thinking.

The strand, “Supporting STEM/STEAM through 21st Century Learning Environments” offers a unique opportunity for school facilities and education professionals to present new, modernized, or modified STEM/ STEAM school facilities and learning environments. Prospective presenters may consider sharing school designs and practical ideas that enhance one or more STEM/STEAM topics, as well as partnerships with schools and districts that have designed or modified facilities to support STEM and STEAM learning. Presenters can submit proposals now and until Friday, June 16, 2017.

For more information please visit: http://www.stemcalifornia.org/STEM

If you have any questions please contact:

Molly Stitt

Education Programs Consultant

School Facilities & Transportation Services

California Department of Education

mstitt@cde.ca.gov

916-322-6249