Tag Archives: State School Bond Initiative

State Allocation Board Update

June 28, 2017

On Wednesday, June 28, the State Allocation Board (SAB) met to hear issues related to actions taken at their meeting on June 5, 2017 (approval of “Option 1”).  Specifically, under Action Items, the agenda included “Regulatory Amendments for Increased Program Accountability” and “Regulatory Amendments for the Financial Hardship Program.” Under Informational Items, the agenda included “School Facility Program Application Processing.”  The following is a summary of each agenda item. Continue reading

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

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

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

OPSC Stakeholder Meeting on Front-End Grant Agreements for the SFP

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) held a stakeholder meeting in Sacramento to review OPSC’s draft grant agreements for the School Facility Program (SFP). The OPSC is planning to receive stakeholder input, and then take the item to the State Allocation Board (SAB) on its April agenda scheduled for April 26, 2017. This is a key document that needs to completed before Proposition 51 funds become available for school districts projects. CASH’s Board of Directors goal on OPSC’s proposed front-end grant agreement is to ensure that the grant agreement and audit guide are consistent with one another so that districts understand the rules and expectations throughout the entire life of the project. Further, CASH is requesting concurrent adoption of the Administration’s trailer bill language by the date of the April SAB Board meeting. CASH believes that such coordination is necessary to allow for the establishment of clear expectations while facilitating swift implementation of Proposition 51.  Joe Dixon, Tom Duffy, and Ian Padilla attended the stakeholder meeting to represent CASH.

The substance of the meeting discussion was OPSC receiving and responding to stakeholders concerns. While the meeting included discussion of many significant policy and technical issues, the overarching concern expressed by stakeholders was to distinguish between what are clarifications to the existing process and what are changes to the existing process. In addition, stakeholders expressed concern that there has been insufficient time to provide quality input on the proposal and requested additional opportunities to provide feedback. In response, OPSC staff stated that they are open to additional written input and would look into the possibility of another stakeholder meeting, but that they wanted to ensure they had adequate time to prepare the document for presentation at the April SAB meeting.

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Meeting Notes – January 2017

January 25, 2017

Minutes

The minutes from the December 5, 2016, meeting were approved unanimously.

Executive Officer Statement

Lisa Silverman provided updates on the following:

  • Charter Round Opening: A new Charter School Facilities Program (CSFP) round will open and applications will be accepted from February 6, 2017, through June 5, 2017. $500 million is now available with the passage of Proposition 51. Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) staff will be providing a webinar and workshops on the CSFP application process.
  • August 2016 Priority Funding Apportionments: On August 17, 2016, $78.7 million was approved for 20 projects from 14 school districts. 19 projects were required to submit Form SAB 50-05 by November 15, 2016; two projects worth $932,070.50 did not.  They were returned to the Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) and given a new Unfunded Approval date of November 15, 2016.

Continue reading

State Budget 2017-18 Update: Governor Addresses Proposition 51 Implementation

State Budget 2017-18 Update: Governor Addresses Proposition 51 Implementation

The Governor’s Budget proposal contains good news for school facilities, as well as some challenges. With regard to the implementation of Proposition 51, the Governor stated his willingness to work to have Proposition 51 funds flow to school projects. The challenges will be implementing the audit provisions that Governor Brown wants before allowing Proposition 51 funds to flow. Concerning Proposition 39 energy efficiency funding, the Governor proposes $422.9 million for K-12 school districts and charter schools, which is a significant investment.

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. We believe the audit guide concern can be addressed immediately without legislation because the guide is developed by the State Controller, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of the Department of Finance. If legislation is needed to have a long-term statutory authority, CASH believes that can be done through a budget trailer bill. We will have more updates in the coming days as more details become available. Below is a summary of the proposed State Budget relating to school facilities.

Continue reading

Now that Proposition 51 Passed, When Will the School Construction Dollars Start to Flow?

December 12, 2016

Over the weekend, the East Bay Times published an article about the implementation of Proposition 51. Read the full article below.

Now that Proposition 51 Passed, When Will the School Construction Dollars Start to Flow?

~ CASH Staff

State Allocation Board Meeting Notes – December 2016

December 5, 2016

The State Allocation Board (SAB) met today and approved the consent only agenda. The consent agenda included Facility Hardship projects and close out items.

There was no discussion of the passage of Proposition 51. We expect some discussion of Proposition 51 implementation at the January SAB meeting.

CASH will be discussing implementation issues at the Proposition 51 Post-Election Debriefing workshop which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento on December 12, 2016.

To register for the workshop, please use the following link: https://www.cashnet.org/meetings/2016_Workshops/SpecialDecember2016Workshop.htm.

~ CASH Staff

Yes On 51 and Mayor Villaraigosa on Univision.com!

October 27, 2016

Thank you for your continued support of Prop 51 and safe schools for our students. With your help, the Proposition 51 campaign has gained broad and diverse support throughout the state of California.

In addition to our TV spots featuring a teacher and a school nurse, our “Sí a la Prop 51” video with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been running on Univision.com to engage our Spanish speaking audience.

You can watch and share Mayor Villaraigosa’s Spanish-language video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/DX0pis6T360

From now until Election Day the videos will be running on Univision.com. Take a look at today’s ads on the Los Angeles homepage!

http://www.univision.com/los-angeles/kmex

Let’s continue to urge our contacts to vote Yes on 51 to repair and upgrade older schools, keeping the promise of a quality education in California. Please continue to show your support by sharing a link to Mayor Villaraigosa’s video and using our hashtag, #YesOn51.