May 13, 2016
By Ian Padilla
On Friday, May 13, 2016, the Governor released his 2016-17 May Revision. We are currently reviewing the details concerning school facilities. In the press conference, the Governor was asked if he opposed the State School Bond, Governor Brown stated that he did not support or oppose the measure, and could deal with its costs if it was approved. This is consistent with his January 2016 statements concerning his position on the State School Bond.
In addition, the May Revision includes a proposal for an “Emergency Repair Revolving Loan Program.” The following is a summary of the program:
To assist school districts in remediating imminent and critical health and safety facility issues that would cause students to be displaced from an educational setting, the May Revision proposes $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to establish a bridge loan program to provide temporary funding to schools with insufficient resources to expeditiously address these imminent health and safety issues. Specifically, these funds are proposed to address “emergency facility’s needs”-structures or systems that are in a condition that poses a threat to the health and safety of pupils and staff while at school. As a condition of participation, a school would have to provide independent verification that the school site has been deemed unsuitable for occupation, and the school would have to self-certify that no alternative facilities are available to educate the displaced students. Subject to an expedited review and approval process by the Department of Education, loan funds could be released in a matter of days to address the necessary repairs and ensure students can quickly return to the classroom. After funds are released, schools would have the option of repaying the loans in full within one year of disbursement without interest, or by structuring a long-term low-interest repayment plan not to exceed 20 years.”
CASH appreciates the Governor’s intent to bridge for facility hardship projects in financial hardship districts. While we are concerned about a “loan” structure for a current “grant” program, we also recognize the “bridge” can be between now and the approval of the CASH-sponsored $9 billion State School Bond on the November State General Election ballot.
- Proposition 39-The California Clean Energy Jobs Act was approved by voters in 2012, and increases state corporate tax revenues. For 2013-14 through 2017-18, the measure requires half of the increased revenues, up to $550 million per year, to be used to support energy efficiency projects. The May Revision increases the amount of energy efficiency funds available to K-12 schools in 2016-17 by $33.3 million to $398.8 million to reflect increased revenue estimates.
- Improved Monitoring and Reporting of Drinking Water-An increase of $480,000 Safe Drinking Water Account and two positions for the State Water Resources Control Board to: (1) prepare guidance documents and engage in outreach to schools to assist local efforts for water quality testing, and (2) support public water systems in improving compliance with federal reporting requirements.
- Average Daily Attendance (ADA)-An increase of $11.2 million in 2015-16 and a decrease of $2 million in 2016-17 for school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education under the Local Control Funding Formula as a result of an increase in ADA in 2014-15 which drives projections for 2015-16, and a decrease in ADA for 2016-17.