Category Archives: Planning & Architecture

February Facility Planners Update 2018

February 12, 2018

The CASH Facility Planners Meeting Update for February 2018 is now available and includes information regarding:

  • CASH Annual Conference
  • Proposition 51 Update
  • 2018-2019 State Budget: Governor Proposes Minimum for School Facilities
  • Legislative update
  • Upcoming Networking Mixers

Click here to view the update.

~ CASH staff

SAB Approves “Option 1” New Construction Eligibility Regulations and Seismic Mitigation Program Amendments

January 25, 2018

Today the State Allocation Board (Board) met to take action on a number of items, including the annual adjustment to School Facility Program (SFP) grants, the index adjustment for Level I developer fees, approval of $243 million in Charter School Facilities Program Unfunded Preliminary Apportionments, and adoption of a package of various School Facility Program regulation changes.  The regulations package included an item to formalize changes to the new construction funding application process, which Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) strongly opposes.

Seismic Mitigation Program and Other Technical Conforming Regulatory Amendments
The Board approved, on an emergency basis, a package of School Facility Program regulation amendments pertaining to the following issues:

  • How to proceed with applications for Seismic Mitigation Program (SMP) funding now that bond funds specifically reserved for that purpose have been exhausted.
  • Requiring new construction projects to submit eligibility updates for the enrollment year in which the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) processes the application.
  • Allowing small school districts to request a three-year lock using enrollment figures from the year in which the eligibility application is submitted, if the district makes the request prior to OPSC’s notification that it will soon begin to process the funding application.

On June 5, 2017, the Board radically altered the School Facility Program by adopting the new construction eligibility justification policy (known as “Option 1”), which abandoned the use of eligibility in place at the time of application submittal in favor of requiring eligibility updates for the year in which OPSC processes the application.  CASH believes this policy is contrary to the Proposition 51 statute approved by voters and opposed the change when it was first approved by the Board.  CASH challenged the Board’s action by filing an underground regulation petition with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which declined to take up CASH’s petition but did not opine on the petition’s merits.

The regulation adopted today codifies the Board’s June 5, 2017, policy and applies to projects submitted to OPSC after that date.  OPSC has indicated they do not need a regulation to implement the new construction eligibility update requirements for projects that were submitted to OPSC on or before June 5, 2017.  The adopted regulation requires districts to submit an updated Enrollment Certification/Projection (Form SAB 50-01) within 90 days of OPSC notification that it will begin processing the district’s application for funding.

Continue reading

Governor Proposes Minimum Funding for School Construction and Modernization Projects

January 10, 2018

The proposed State Budget for 2018-19 was released on January 10 at 10:00 a.m. The following is the statement that relates to school facilities in the proposed 2018-19 State Budget (Page 30):

Since 1998, voters have approved approximately $44 billion in statewide general obligation bonds to construct or renovate public school classrooms used by the state’s roughly six million K-12 students. Associated General Fund debt services costs are over $2 billion annually. In addition to general obligation bonds, school districts may use developer fees, local bonds, certificates of participation, and Mello Roos bonds to construct additional classrooms or renovate existing classrooms.

The recently approved Kindergarten through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016 (Proposition 51) authorizes $7 billion in state general obligation bonds for K-12 schools to be allocated through the current School Facilities Program in place as of January 1, 2015. To ensure appropriate usage of all School Facilities Program bond funds and effective program accountability and oversight, the Administration worked with the State Allocation Board and the Office of Public School Construction to revise policies and regulations to implement front-end grant agreements that defined basic terms, conditions, and accountability measures for participants that request funding through the School Facilities Program. To complement this front-end accountability, legislation requiring facility bond expenditures to be included in the annual K-12 Audit Guide was approved.

 The Budget proposes approximately $640 million in bond authority for 2018-19 to fund new construction, modernization, career technical education, and charter facility projects based upon the Office of Public School Construction’s processing of project applications and the State Allocation Board’s approval of these projects.”

The Governor is also proposing to spend $1 billion from SB 5 bonds, if they are approved in the June Primary.  SB 5 has $4 billion in bond authorization, so he is proposing to spend 25% of that bond.  If he spent 25% of Proposition 51 bond funds it would be $1.5 billion of the $6 billion New Construction and Modernization funds.  Even at 25%, that $1.5 billion would cover only half of the application backlog ALREADY submitted to the Office of Public School Construction. Because the $640 million dribbles out from the voter approved Proposition 51 bond over a decade long schedule, the backlog will grow every year while needed school projects remain unfunded.  The Governor’s priorities are clear.  Yet-to-be approved funds receive 25%, while already shovel ready bond projects receive 11%.  The numbers speak for themselves.

We did what the Governor wanted with the audit language and upfront agreement.  Even with these provisions, it appears the Governor does not want to honor the voters’ will because the voters did not follow his opposition to Proposition 51.

As we continue to review the Governor’s proposed State Budget, we will drill down in more depth on issues of interest to the school facilities community and report to the CASH membership.  Stay tuned.

~ Dave Walrath, Legislative Advocate

December Facility Planners Update December 2017

December 1, 2017

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

  • Proposition 51 Update
  • Legislative Update
  • Newly Revised CASH Facility Inspection Tool (FIT) Guidebook Available
  • CASH 39th Annual Conference
  • CASH Maintenance Management Certification Program
  • School Facilities Leadership Academy

Click here to view the update.

~ CASH staff

Thank You 2017 Fall Conference Sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of the 2017 CASH Fall Conference.  The conference would not be as successful without the help of these generous sponsors.

3QC
American Modular Systems/Gen 7 Schools
Balfour Beatty Construction
Colbi Technologies
Cooperative Strategies, LLC
Culver-Newlin School and Office Furnishings
Dannis Woliver Kelley
Davy Architecture
DC Architects
DLR Group
Extron Electronics
ForeFront Power, LLC
Harris & Associates
HMC Architects
Kitchell CEM
Koppel & Gruber Public Finance
Lionakis
LMA
Lundgren Management Corp.
PBK
Pro-Craft Construction, Inc.
Sage Renewable Energy Consulting
School Facility Consultants
STIFEL
SVA Architects, Inc.
Swinerton
WLC Architects, Inc.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 CASH Fall Conference, October 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.

Please note: This is a new location.

~ CASH staff

Request for Signature Assembly Bill 203 (O’Donnell)

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
Sacramento, CA
95814

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.

Thank you,

(your name)

Click Here to send your e-mail to the Governor.

Thank you for helping CASH.

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Update

June 28, 2017

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

CASH Budget Update: Legislature Approves State Budget & Trailer Bills

June 15, 2017

Today, the Legislature passed AB 97, the budget bill for FY 2017-18, meeting the constitutional deadline to pass an on-time budget by June 15, 2017. The Legislature also passed a number of accompanying trailer bills to implement policy changes in the budget. The budget includes $125.1 billion in General Fund spending, including $9.9 billion in total reserves. This is the largest budget reserve in California’s history and is consistent with the Governor’s priority of preparing for the next economic downturn. The budget will now go to the Governor for his signature, or line item veto, if any.

School Finance Budget Trailer Bill – AB 99

School Facility Audit Language – This bill includes new school facility audit language (commencing with changes to Education Code Section 41024) that requires local auditors to include state funded facility projects in the annual school district audit. The audit language includes references to the new fund release grant agreement adopted at the June 5, 2017 State Allocation Board (SAB) meeting. The audit language also includes language on the use of project savings and the process for repaying state funds audit exceptions.

One-Time Discretionary Funding – This bill includes $876.6 million (one-time Proposition 98) for any purpose, including deferred maintenance and capital outlay. This is approximately $145 per average daily attendance.

Emergency Repair Program – This bill includes language that any unencumbered funds in the School Facilities Emergency Repair Account revert to the Proposition 98 Reversion Account. AB 99 extends this encumbrance.

Budget Trailer Bills AB 111 and SB 96 (Anticipate Approval at the Time of Posting)

Proposition 39 – The date for local encumbrance of these funds increases from June 30, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

DSA Filing Fee – The Legislature passed budget trailer bill AB 111, which increases Division of the State Architect (DSA) project filing fees for construction or alteration of school buildings. The fee will increase from 0.7% to 1.25% for the first $1 million in construction costs, and from 0.6% to 1.0% for costs in excess of $1 million. If the balance in the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund exceeds six months of expenditures, the fee will automatically decrease.

Department of Industrial Relations – The Legislature passed budget trailer bill SB 96, which makes changes to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) prevailing wage monitoring program, including:

Raises the threshold for the program’s applicability from $1,000 to $25,000 for construction projects and $15,000 for maintenance projects.

  • Increases penalties for contractors and subcontractors who fail to register correctly.
  • Creates new penalties for awarding bodies, including school districts, which would be subject to a fine of up to $100 per day, up to $10,000.
  • An awarding body determined to be a “willful violator” with two program violations within 12 months could lose state facility funding for one year.
  • Increases the annual contractor registration fee from $300 to $400 and permits a contractor to register for multiple years at a time.

The budget also includes $805,000 in 2017-18 and $759,000 in 2018-19 for positions to educate awarding bodies about their requirements under the law.

Additional OPSC Staffing and Bond Sales – We thank Senator Bates for her comments on lack of Proposition 51 progress; however, the budget agreement does not include any additional staff for the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) nor any proposed increase in the January budget proposal for Proposition 51 state school bond sales.

~ CASH Staff

SAB Takes Action on Upfront Agreement & Beyond Bond Authority Project List

On Monday, June 5, 2017, the State Allocation Board (SAB) took action on two key policy issues that are critical to the implementation of Proposition 51: a) Regulatory Amendments for Increased Program Accountability (template for Upfront Grant Agreement); and, b) School Facility Program (SFP) Applications Received Beyond Bond Authority List (how to proceed with projects on the Acknowledged List). These proposals were originally scheduled to be adopted at the SAB meeting on April 24, 2017, but the action was deferred to a later date due to concerns with the draft prepared by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC).

Fourteen CASH members testified during the hearing including Chair Don Ulrich (Clovis USD), Vice Chair Julie Arthur (Palm Springs USD), Immediate Past Chair Jenny Hannah (Kern HSD), and board members Rob Pierce (Elk Grove USD) and Alan Reising (Long Beach USD). The following is a summary of the actions that the SAB took on these agenda items:

Upfront Grant Agreement
The SAB voted to approve the Upfront Grant Agreement and conforming regulatory amendments, approved the projects on Attachment #5 for placement on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans), and exempted these projects from the Grant Agreement requirement. CASH and the education community had advocated for changes to the Grant Agreement, which were incorporated in this approval. These changes include:

  • Changes to the eligible expenditures list to expand eligibility of freezers, refrigerators, and exercise equipment.
  • The option of project-specific guidance letters incorporated by reference into the Grant Agreement – allows districts to achieve certainty on unusual project expenditures, ensuring auditors will allow.
  • The Grant Agreement is required at fund release, not as a condition of apportionment.
  • Projects on the True Unfunded List are exempt; the grant agreement still applies to all projects on the Acknowledged List.

The Grant Agreement as adopted includes a significant policy change by making educational technology, including computers and printers, an ineligible expenditure.

Beyond Bond Authority List
After extensive discussion and testimony from CASH board members and members of the education community, the SAB voted to approve “Option 1” which requires new construction projects on the Acknowledged List to re-justify their eligibility for the enrollment year in which the application was processed by OPSC, without losing their place in line. The biggest policy debate of the evening was whether schools should be required to update eligibility, or if projects would be processed with eligibility at the time of submittal. Projects that would no longer be eligible under updated eligibility have the right to submit an appeal to the SAB.

CASH would like to thank our members for their dedication and commitment to qualifying, approving, and now working to implement Proposition 51.

~ CASH Staff