On Thursday, March 30, 2017, the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) held a stakeholder meeting in Sacramento to review OPSC’s draft grant agreements for the School Facility Program (SFP). The OPSC is planning to receive stakeholder input, and then take the item to the State Allocation Board (SAB) on its April agenda scheduled for April 26, 2017. This is a key document that needs to completed before Proposition 51 funds become available for school districts projects. CASH’s Board of Directors goal on OPSC’s proposed front-end grant agreement is to ensure that the grant agreement and audit guide are consistent with one another so that districts understand the rules and expectations throughout the entire life of the project. Further, CASH is requesting concurrent adoption of the Administration’s trailer bill language by the date of the April SAB Board meeting. CASH believes that such coordination is necessary to allow for the establishment of clear expectations while facilitating swift implementation of Proposition 51. Joe Dixon, Tom Duffy, and Ian Padilla attended the stakeholder meeting to represent CASH.
The substance of the meeting discussion was OPSC receiving and responding to stakeholders concerns. While the meeting included discussion of many significant policy and technical issues, the overarching concern expressed by stakeholders was to distinguish between what are clarifications to the existing process and what are changes to the existing process. In addition, stakeholders expressed concern that there has been insufficient time to provide quality input on the proposal and requested additional opportunities to provide feedback. In response, OPSC staff stated that they are open to additional written input and would look into the possibility of another stakeholder meeting, but that they wanted to ensure they had adequate time to prepare the document for presentation at the April SAB meeting.
The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) has scheduled a stakeholder meeting for Thursday, March 30, 2017, at the Department of General Services, Ziggurat building in West Sacramento. The meeting is scheduled for purposes of discussing and receiving feedback on the draft grant agreements for the School Facility Program. The notice has been posted to the OPSC website under Meeting Information and on the State Allocation Board webpage. This meeting will also be webcast.
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 Governor’s Office of Planning & Research (OPR) may be reaching out to you if you have not yet submitted an energy expenditure plans (EEP) under the Proposition 39 program. As you know the final deadline for submitting an EEP under the five-year program is August 1, 2017. The Governor’s Office wants to encourage and assist schools that have not yet submitted their plans for funding approval. This outreach to CASH and School Energy Coalition (SEC) members are the result of SEC meetings with the Governor’s Office to assist LEAs – especially smaller schools and charters – that may be having difficulty moving forward to access funding and we appreciate their interest and outreach. find out more about SEC’s advocacy efforts at our upcoming meeting during the CASH Annual Conference at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, February 20, 2017, in Room 315 of the Sacramento Convention Center. You do not have to be a SEC member to attend. See you there!
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.
CASH signed on to a coalition letter regarding DPR regulations with the Association of California School Administrators, California School Boards Association, and the Small School Districts’ Association.
The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) is pleased to announce that Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell has been appointed to the State Allocation Board. OPSC welcomes the Assembly Member to the State Allocation Board and looks forward to working with him on school facilities issues.