2017 STEAM Symposium Call for Presenters – Deadline is Friday, June 16, 2017

California STEAM Symposium 2017: December 10-11, 2017 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco

The Symposium is becoming the STEAM Symposium this year, and the thematic strands reflect the importance of braiding together science, technology, engineering, and math with art and design thinking.

The strand, “Supporting STEM/STEAM through 21st Century Learning Environments” offers a unique opportunity for school facilities and education professionals to present new, modernized, or modified STEM/ STEAM school facilities and learning environments. Prospective presenters may consider sharing school designs and practical ideas that enhance one or more STEM/STEAM topics, as well as partnerships with schools and districts that have designed or modified facilities to support STEM and STEAM learning. Presenters can submit proposals now and until Friday, June 16, 2017.

For more information please visit: http://www.stemcalifornia.org/STEM

If you have any questions please contact:

Molly Stitt

Education Programs Consultant

School Facilities & Transportation Services

California Department of Education

mstitt@cde.ca.gov

916-322-6249

SAB Priority Funding Request Due Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 6, 2017

Please be aware that, if your district is on the State Allocation Board’s Unfunded List and eligible for Priority Funding, you must submit your Priority Funding request by 5:00 pm on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

The Priority Funding (PF) process was created to allow projects that receive unfunded approval by the State Allocation Board (SAB) and are placed on the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) to receive an apportionment with accelerated timelines.

Following is the text from the June 5, 2017  State Allocation Board agenda regarding the current Priority Funding filing round:

CURRENT PRIORITY FUNDING FILING ROUND

The priority funding filing period began on May 10, 2017 and will close on June 8, 2017. Priority funding requests with original signatures by an Authorized District Representative must be physically received by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) before the close of business at 5:00 pm on June 8, 2017. These requests will be valid from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

Requirements for Participation in Priority Funding

OPSC reminds school districts that the requirements for Participation in the Priority Funding Process are in effect under School Facility Program Regulation Section 1859.90.3. There are two ways for a school district to not participate in the priority funding process as follows:
• Not submit a valid priority funding request in the 30-day filing period, or
• Submit a valid priority funding request but fail to submit a valid Fund Release Authorization (Form SAB 50-05) to request the release of funds after the Board approves an apportionment.
The second time that either of these occurs, the funding for the project will be rescinded without further action by the Board. For additional information, please refer to the Procedures for School Facility Program Funding.

June Facility Planners Update

June 6, 2017

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

  • Proposition 51 Implementation
  • Legislative Update
  • Upcoming Networking Mixers

Click here to download the Update.

~ 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

DSA’s New Plan Review Appointment Process Eliminates Bin Time

We are sharing with you this important news that we have received from the Division of the State Architect.

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) is pleased to announce the upcoming implementation of an appointment-based process for project submittal. If the project submittal contains all necessary information and documents, plan review will immediately commence on the scheduled submittal date. This new process eliminates the “bin time” when complete plan submittals sat idle while awaiting assignment to a DSA plan reviewer.

DSA expects to begin scheduling project submittal appointments in early July, with the first appointments held in mid-August.

Since DSA’s current bin time is four to six weeks, this new process allows design professionals an extra four to six weeks to work on project plans. Elimination of the current bin time also results in significant individual and cumulative cost savings to clients and school districts by avoiding inflationary cost escalations.

Under the previous system, plans delivered to DSA waited for an intake review to ensure the package was complete, and then waited in a queue for approximately four to six weeks until the plans could be reviewed. DSA’s new process maximizes clients’ time because plans may be worked on and developed right until the agreed-upon submittal date.

This process applies to all projects other than those eligible for over-the-counter plan review. DSA will release further information and procedures within the next few weeks. Additionally, DSA will conduct a regional series of stakeholder outreach meetings commencing in Fall 2017. We look forward to implementing these improvements with you.

Please direct any questions to DSACommunication@dgs.ca.gov.

CASH Alert: Encouragement to Attend the June 5, 2017 SAB Meeting

May 26, 2017

On Monday, June 5, 2017, the State Allocation Board (SAB) will meet at 4:00 pm in Room 437 of the State Capitol to consider recommendations on the proposed Grant Agreement, True Unfunded List, and Acknowledged List. Click here to see the CASH letter addressing these proposals.

We encourage you to attend the SAB meeting and speak to your specific concerns about the proposals and how they will affect your school district or client district.

More information will be provided during the CASH Monthly Update Meeting also scheduled for Monday, June 5, 2017, at 11:00 am in the Lower Level Conference Room A at 1130 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

We additionally would like to further encourage you to communicate your concerns directly to your State Senators and Assembly Members. The district draft letter found here, may be a resource in doing so.

~ Tom Duffy

Seminars from the California Debt & Investment Advisory Commission

May 26, 2017

PUBLIC FUNDS INVESTING WORKSHOP: USING MS EXCEL

AUGUST 23, 24, 25, 2017  |  OAKLAND, CA  |  COST: $100 PUBLIC, $230 PRIVATE
This one-day workshop offered on three consecutive days uses Microsoft Excel to further participants’ understanding of key investment concepts. Participants will engage in interactive learning using their own laptops or tablets and spreadsheets to familiarize themselves with the relationship between yield, duration, and convexity. The workshop will conclude with an exercise on benchmarking. The class is limited to 20 participants per day. More information. Register.

ONGOING DEBT ADMINISTRATION

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017  |  SACRAMENTO, CA  |  COST: $150 PUBLIC, $250 PRIVATE
This seminar is designed to provide government officers with the knowledge needed to manage their responsibilities for continuing disclosure, compliance with federal arbitrage rules, and the investment of bond proceeds. Complying with both national and state-level reporting will be discussed. This seminar differs from CDIAC’s bond accountability and transparency program as this curriculum focuses on the larger practices of living with an issue over the life of the bond. More information. Register.

CDIAC’S 16TH ANNUAL PRE-CONFERENCE AT THE BOND BUYER‘S 27TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA PUBLIC FINANCE CONFERENCE

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017  |  CARLSBAD, CA
More information coming soon.

CASH Urgent Action Alert: Letters Needed from School District Members

May 24, 2017

Dear CASH School District Member:

We are writing to request your help in communicating with your representatives in the State Senate and the State Assembly to ask for their direct action to assist us in:

  1. Focusing legislative pressure on the Department of Finance (DOF) to increase school bond sales for matching funds through Proposition 51 in years 2018 and in 2019; and
  2. Communicating to the State Allocation Board (SAB) concerns as to how the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and DOF are proposing to treat districts projects negatively that are on the “Acknowledged List.”

Unfortunately, in the May Revision the DOF did not change the state’s plan to sell only $600 million in Proposition 51 bonds between now and June 30, 2018. That rate of bond sales will not even cover the new applications being filed, much less the current $2.4 billion waiting list.

In communicating with your legislative representatives we ask that you cite specific information about your District’s projects waiting for state bond funding, including estimated state bond funding amounts. We request that you speak to the need to increase state bond sale amounts for purposes of funding your projects and the $2.4 billion in the pipeline waiting for funding.

It is important to note here that it has been proposed by OPSC that the SAB consider sending projects on the “Acknowledged List” back to the applicant school districts, thus denying funding to those projects.

To date, there are $2 billion on the “Acknowledged List.” This is a combination of new construction and modernization projects. If your District has projects on the “Acknowledged List” we advise that you specifically identify those projects to your representative and detail the negative impact that the proposed action to deny funding to the “Acknowledged List” will have on your District.

We suggest also that you communicate your concern regarding the proposed OPSC/DOF “grant agreement” that is intended to be applied retroactively to all projects waiting for funding, notwithstanding the fact that contracts have been signed or that projects have been completed and occupied.

The Legislature needs to hear directly from you about the specific harm that the proposed OPSC and DOF actions will have on your district.

Again those proposed actions are:

  1. Limit bond sales;
  2. Reject projects waiting for funding on the “Acknowledged List;” and
  3. Require that a grant agreement is signed for each project retroactively.

Please review the draft letter that you may use to write your own request that the state sells more bonds faster.

Please send your letter to your State Assembly Member and State Senator.

Thank you in advance for your assistance on this matter of importance.

~ Tom Duffy

May CASH Day & SAB Meeting Rescheduled to June 5

May 15, 2017

The May 24 State Allocation Board meeting has been canceled. The next State Allocation Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 5 at 4:00 pm at the State Capitol, Room 437.

The CASH Monthly Update and Annual Conference Planning Committee meetings will also be rescheduled for Monday, June 5.

~ CASH Staff

Governor Brown Releases 2017-18 May Revision

May 11, 2017

This morning Governor Jerry Brown released his 2017-18 May Revision. This update will focus on school facilities including Proposition 39. We will provide more detail on other key school facilities issues such as the bond sale amount, specific audit provisions, DIR prevailing wage monitoring program language, and state agency staffing levels as they become available. Click here to view the full revision summary.

School Facilities
At this time, it appears that the Governor is not proposing any significant changes to K-12 school facilities. The following is a quote from the 2017-18 May Revision regarding the implementation of Proposition 51:

K-12 School Facilities – A 2016 audit of Proposition 1D School Facilities Program expenditures issued by the Office of State Audits and Evaluations determined that 1,533 projects, representing over $3 billion in Proposition 1D funds, have been completed without ensuring the bond funds were appropriately expended. The audit found instances in which school districts inappropriately used school facilities bond funding to purchase vehicles, tractors, tablets, golf carts, mascot uniforms, and custodial/cleaning supplies. To ensure the appropriate use of all School Facilities Program bond funds and effective program accountability and oversight, the Administration proposed the following two-fold approach in the Governor’s Budget:

  • Design grant agreements that define basic terms, conditions, and accountability measures for participants that request funding through the School Facilities Program.
  • Enact legislation requiring facility bond expenditures to be included in the annual K-12 Audit Guide, where independent auditors verify that local educational agencies participating in the School Facilities Program have appropriately expended state resources.

The Office of Public School Construction has presented a comprehensive grant agreement to the State Allocation Board for approval, and the Administration has proposed legislation to required independent audits of school facilities expenditures. It is anticipated that the State Allocation Board will take action on a final grant agreement at its next meeting. As stated in the Governor’s Budget, the Administration will support the expenditure of Proposition 51 funds when both the grant agreement and audit requirement are in place to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are spent appropriately.” (Page 19)

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, be used to support energy efficiency projects. The May Revision decreases the amount of energy efficiency funds available to K-12 schools in 2017-18 by $46.7 million to $376.2 million to reflect reduced revenue estimates.” (Page 20)

CASH Position
CASH is disappointed that the Department of Finance (DOF) has not taken action to sell Proposition 51 bonds to fund high priority local school construction and modernization projects. If the State Allocation Board (SAB) approves the recommendations by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and the DOF at their May 24, 2017 meeting, it would have negative and lasting effects on school districts seeking state bond funding for $2.4 billion in project funding and will be in direct violation of the law. These recommendations are contrary to the provisions of Education Code Chapter 12.5 and are specifically preserved by the unambiguous language of Proposition 51 approved by the majority of California voters. CASH believes that this may not be changed by fiat as intended by the OPSC and DOF.

~ CASH Staff