February 13, 2017
“Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happened” – Dr. Seuss
This will be my final Message from the Chair. It has been my great honor to serve the CASH organization, and I feel very confident in the wisdom and leadership of your next Chair Don Ulrich (Clovis USD), who I believe will continue our positive momentum. I would like to thank my colleagues on the Board of Directors, as well as each of you for the honor of serving as your leader these past two years.
Proposition 51: Victory
During my time as the chair of CASH, the school facilities community and our organization have faced many significant challenges, but none more significant than our fight for continued state support of school facilities. Facing questions about what role the state should play, if any, in the future funding of school facilities, the CASH Board and members fought for adequate, equitable and safe school facilities by advocating for continued state funding through the School Facilities Program (SFP).
The CASH Board made the bold decision to place a statewide school bond initiative on the November 2016 ballot, which required a campaign to gather signatures in 2015, and a robust campaign for voter approval in 2016. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Proposition 51 was approved by 55% of California’s voters, once again demonstrating the public’s support of schools. I would like to thank all of you who supported Proposition 51 – our success would not have been possible without your energy and commitment.
The Road Ahead: Implementation of Proposition 51
While we are very pleased Proposition 51 was approved, we know that we have more work to do in 2017. CASH believes that Proposition 51 is inseparably linked to the current School Facilities Program (SFP), and we expect to be engaged in the challenging implementation work of re-establishing mechanisms for cash flow, project review and approval, and apportionments. We will continue to engage with the Administration, Legislature, State Allocation Board (SAB), Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), Pooled Money Investment Board (PMIB), State Treasure’s Office (STO), and other key agencies and constituencies.
In the 2017-18 State Budget Proposal released on January 10, the Governor stated his willingness to work to have Proposition 51 funds flow to school projects, as long as new program audit requirements are established. The challenge will be implementing the audit provisions that Governor Brown wants before allowing Proposition 51 funds to flow. 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. While we certainly will engage in discussions about a future state school facilities program, our primary focus will be on implementing Proposition 51.
38th Annual Conference
The 38th Annual Conference begins next week, on Monday, February 20, and runs through Wednesday, February 22 at the Sacramento Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Sacramento. We are expecting higher attendance than last year, and the Trade Show has once again sold out. If you have yet to register, do so as soon as possible, to join our industry colleagues that will be attending the more than 50 workshops and roundtables that will be offered. Don’t miss the General Sessions and NextGen Experience in the Trade Show, which is bigger than ever. The Networking Dinner will be held on Tuesday evening, I hope to see you there!
~ Jenny Hannah