Message from the Chair – November 2013

JoeDixon_2013_150Proposition 39, Local Control Funding Formula, and Priority Funding Projects

In this month’s Message, I am highlighting the most recent work of the State Allocation Board Program Review Subcommittee, C.A.S.H.’s work on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and its implications for school M&O and facilities departments, as well as the Office of Public School Construction’s (OPSC) apportionment for Priority Funding Projects.

State Allocation Board (SAB) Program Review Subcommittee

The SAB Program Review Subcommittee met on October 24, 2013 to confirm its position on a number of previously-discussed items.  They are now focused on honing their policy recommendations for a future program, in anticipation of presenting them to the full State Allocation Board in January 2014.  They also revisited in-depth discussions regarding Financial Hardship and County Offices of Education (COEs).  Additional meetings are scheduled for November and December to continue this work.  A more detailed summary of the Subcommittee’s discussion is available on the C.A.S.H. School Facilities News Website at www.cashfacilitiesnews.org.

Proposition 39 Implementation

After releasing the draft program guidelines, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has been hosting regional workshops across the state throughout October to present the guidelines and solicit stakeholder comments and feedback.  Comments for the CEC’s draft program guidelines were due by Friday, October 25.  C.A.S.H. submitted a public comment letter (located at http://cashfacilitiesnews.org/c-a-s-h-comments-to-california-energy-commission-on-proposition-39-implementation/) that urges the CEC to consider changes to improve the program, including a five-year Energy Expenditure Plan (EEP) option, clarification of whether or not debt service on a financed approved EEP project is an acceptable expenditure, annual rather than quarterly reporting, and change of scope flexibility.

On Monday, October 14, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the funding entitlements for FY 2013-14.  Districts have the option of applying to CDE for an advance allocation of their 2013-14 award for energy planning dollars.  CDE opened the first filing round, with applications due by November 1.  A subsequent planning funds round will commence in January 2014, and another round may be possible in the Spring.  A complete Energy Expenditure Plan (EEP) is not required in order to request the planning allocation.  LEAs with a first year (2013-14) award of $433,000 or less may request up to $130,000 of their first year award for planning activities, and LEAs with a first year award of $433,001 or more may request 30% of their first year award (up to $1 million).  FY 2013-14 Prop. 39 Entitlements can be found at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r14/prop39cceja13result.asp.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Focus of C.A.S.H. M&O Workshops

The LCFF creates significant new facilities obligations for all school districts.  Specifically, the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), a primary component of the LCFF, establishes a school accountability model based on the achievement of state priorities, including the requirement that, “…school facilities are maintained in good repair.”  The LCFF is still in the early stages of implementation, and many important questions remain unanswered.

Because it is difficult to overstate the importance of these changes for school maintenance departments, the C.A.S.H. Maintenance Network will put on a workshop entitled “The World of School M&O Has Changed: Are You Ready?”, which will focus on providing a basic understanding of the LCFF and its implications for school maintenance departments.  The workshop will focus on how the LCFF and the LCAP will change the way school maintenance activities are funded, strategies to gain school board and community support for maintenance priorities, and how school maintenance departments can prepare to be successful in the new world of school maintenance.

In addition to these and related issues, this workshop will also cover legislation and regulatory changes effecting school maintenance departments, hot topics in school M&O such as school safety, green M&O practices and instituting a Planned Maintenance Program.  The workshop will conclude with a preview of the forthcoming C.A.S.H. Maintenance Management Certification Program (interest application located at http://www.cashnet.org/maintenance-network/CASHMaintProgramInterestApp.pdf) that was the subject of last month’s Message from the Chair, which will be highlighted as a resource for those who would like to delve more deeply into these critical issues.

OPSC Apportions $285 Million for Priority Funding Projects

On Monday, October 14, 2013, the State Allocation Board (SAB) had a special consent meeting to apportion $285 million for 112 projects through the Priority Funding process.  This meeting was in lieu of the previously-scheduled meeting on October 23.  The next SAB meeting is scheduled for November 12, 2013.