Category Archives: General

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

The Tragedy of Hurricane Harvey Will Affect California Schools

August 29, 2017

Thousands of people are suddenly homeless, many thousands more have flooded homes and many more have had their homes destroyed by Category 4 winds.  In addition, businesses and public infrastructure will need to be rebuilt as soon as possible.

This humanitarian need could cause even more pressure on building materials supply and cost, as well as skilled workforce needs. CASH wants to remind you that if you are looking to start a major project you will need to rethink the possible costs and possible delays that could occur because of the effect from Hurricane Harvey and continuing flooding.

~CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Approves Career Technical Education Facilities Program & Bond Sale Information

Today the State Allocation Board met to hear and take action on a number of items, including three school district appeals and regulations to establish new funding cycles for the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP).  An item proposing regulatory amendments to new construction application processing was originally agendized but subsequently pulled from consideration at today’s meeting.

Executive Officer Statement: Fall GO BondSale
During the Executive Officer statement, Lisa Silverman indicated that the fall General Obligation bond sale will take place on August 29, 2017.  The recent priority funding filing period closed on June 8, 2017, and the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) received requests for 139 projects from 73 districts worth a total of $443.6 million.  Ms. Silverman reported that she anticipates receiving bond proceeds from the August 29 sale to cover the projects that submitted a certification in the recent filing period.  She stated that the SAB meeting originally scheduled for September 23 has been moved up to September 6, 2017 to take action on the projects that submitted a certification in the recent priority funding round.

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Quarterly Message from the Chair – July 2017

July 21, 2017

Sell Proposition 51 Bonds Now – California’s Students Can’t Wait 

Since its establishment in 1980, CASH’s primary mission has been to ensure that all of California’s students have access to schools that are clean, safe, and healthy, with classrooms that are integral to teaching and learning. We believe that quality learning facilities have a significant impact on student learning and success. This is why we have sponsored every California statewide school bond since 1982. This is also why CASH fought so hard for the passage of Proposition 51. Now we are fighting to ensure that Proposition 51 resources build local community schools – sooner rather than later.

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CASH Legislative Update

July 13, 2017

Friday, July 15 is the last day for policy committees to hear and refer bills to fiscal committees. This is a key deadline because bills that are held in policy committees are effectively dead for this year, and bills that are approved and move onto the fiscal committees can continue to move through the legislative process. Below are status updates on bills of concern to the organization that CASH advocates have been actively engaged on. Thematically, these bills reflect two issue areas that have dominated school facility legislation this year – local bond accountability and transparency, and the lead content of water in schools. CASH is pleased to have helped improve some bills and helped block others that could not be improved. The Legislature convenes summer recess on Friday, July 21 and returns on Monday, August 21  to finish its business for 2017.

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July Facility Planners Update

July 10, 2017

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

  • State Allocation Board Update
  • 2017-18 Budget: School Facility Trailer Bills
  • Legislative Update
  • Upcoming Networking Mixers

Click here to download the Update.

~ CASH Staff