Today the State Allocation Board met to hear and take action on a number of items, including three school district appeals and regulations to establish new funding cycles for the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP). An item proposing regulatory amendments to new construction application processing was originally agendized but subsequently pulled from consideration at today’s meeting.
Executive Officer Statement: Fall GO BondSale
During the Executive Officer statement, Lisa Silverman indicated that the fall General Obligation bond sale will take place on August 29, 2017. The recent priority funding filing period closed on June 8, 2017, and the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) received requests for 139 projects from 73 districts worth a total of $443.6 million. Ms. Silverman reported that she anticipates receiving bond proceeds from the August 29 sale to cover the projects that submitted a certification in the recent filing period. She stated that the SAB meeting originally scheduled for September 23 has been moved up to September 6, 2017 to take action on the projects that submitted a certification in the recent priority funding round.
Career Technical Education Facilities Program Regulatory Amendments
The SAB approved policy changes and regulations to establish additional funding cycles for the CTEFP, which received $500 million in new bond authority from Proposition 51. The SAB approved schedules for a fourth and fifth funding cycle:
- Fourth Funding Cycle:
- Applications for CTEFP funding must be submitted to OPSC by Feb. 21, 2018
- A maximum of $125 million to be available
- Fifth Funding Cycle:
- Application schedule to begin no later than September 2018 (more specificity forthcoming in 2018)
- A maximum of $125 million to be available
OPSC staff collaborated with California Department of Education to establish the schedule, as projects must be evaluated by CDE to be eligible for funding. CDE grant applications for the fourth funding cycle may be submitted to CDE from September 27, 2017 through November 29, 2017, with grant application scores to be published by CDE by February 14, 2018. OPSC anticipates presenting the funding applications to the SAB in June 2018.
The approved regulatory amendments addressissues such as authorization to approve future projects and establish future funding cycles, treatment of funds returning to the CTEFP, and prohibition on using certain program dollars as local match. The approved action incorporated an amendment that was read into the record by Ms. Silverman related to the prohibition on using other state or federal CTE funding sources as local match.
School Facility Program Application Processing Regulatory Amendments
Initially, the SAB agenda included an item to consider regulatory amendments on two topics. The first regulatory amendment would conform to the changes in the new construction funding application process adopted by the SAB on June 5, 2017. That action radically altered the SFP by requiring new construction projects to submit eligibility updates for the enrollment year in which OPSC processes the application, rather than using the eligibility in place at the time of application submittal. CASH opposed this action and has filed a challenge with the Office of Administrative Law. The second regulatory amendment was in response to discussion at the July 28 SAB meeting about small school districts and their option for a three-year lock on eligibility. The proposed regulation would require new construction applications for small school districts with a three-year lock to be processed within the three-year lock time period.
This item was removed from the agenda and was not heard at today’s meeting. CASH supports the processing and funding of all applications in a timely manner, which is why CASH conducted a press conference earlier today on the West Steps of the State Capitol Building. CASH Chair Don Ulrich (Deputy Superintendent, Clovis Unified School District) urged the state to increasethe speed and size of school bond sales to meet the will of voters and the need to build and repair schools across the state.
The SAB heard and unanimously approved appeals from three school districts:
- Norwalk-La Mirada Unified/Los Angeles: To present the District’s request for an extension to complete an Emergency Repair Program project.
- Burnt Ranch Elementary/Trinity: To present a Facility Hardship application for SAB action related to funding.
- Mountain Valley Unified/Trinity: To present the District’s request for Financial Hardship status based upon “Other evidence of reasonable effort as approved by the State Allocation Board” and other action related to funding for two Facility Hardship funding applications.
~ Rebekah Cearley CASH Legislative Advocate