The Assembly Education Committee has scheduled an informational hearing on the School Facility Program. The hearing is set for Wednesday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m. in State Capitol Room 4202. Specifically, the topic of the hearing is: “School Facilities: Streamlining the School Siting and School Funding Processes.”
CASH is pleased to have the opportunity to engage with key policymakers, including Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick O’Donnell, on this important issue.
The minutes from the December 5, 2016, meeting were approved unanimously.
Executive Officer Statement
Lisa Silverman provided updates on the following:
Charter Round Opening: A new Charter School Facilities Program (CSFP) round will open and applications will be accepted from February 6, 2017, through June 5, 2017. $500 million is now available with the passage of Proposition 51. Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) staff will be providing a webinar and workshops on the CSFP application process.
August 2016 Priority Funding Apportionments: On August 17, 2016, $78.7 million was approved for 20 projects from 14 school districts. 19 projects were required to submit Form SAB 50-05 by November 15, 2016; two projects worth $932,070.50 did not. They were returned to the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) and given a new Unfunded Approval date of November 15, 2016.
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.
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.
On Friday, October 28, the Third Court of Appeals denied California Building Industry Association’s (CBIA) appeal against the State Allocation Board’s action on May 25, 2016.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the State Allocation Board issued a letter pertaining to its action on May 25, 2016 determining that state funds are no longer available for school facility construction. This determination is required in order for school districts to charge Level III developer fees. Per the requirements of Government Code Section 65995.7(a), the letter was sent to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly, and it indicates that funds are no longer available effective May 25, 2016.
For more information, see the Board’s letters and the May 25 agenda item here: