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
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Wednesday, June 28, the State Allocation Board (SAB) met to hear issues related to actions taken at their meeting on June 5, 2017 (approval of “Option 1”). Specifically, under Action Items, the agenda included “Regulatory Amendments for Increased Program Accountability” and “Regulatory Amendments for the Financial Hardship Program.” Under Informational Items, the agenda included “School Facility Program Application Processing.” The following is a summary of each agenda item. Continue reading →