January 25, 2018
Today the State Allocation Board (Board) met to take action on a number of items, including the annual adjustment to School Facility Program (SFP) grants, the index adjustment for Level I developer fees, approval of $243 million in Charter School Facilities Program Unfunded Preliminary Apportionments, and adoption of a package of various School Facility Program regulation changes. The regulations package included an item to formalize changes to the new construction funding application process, which Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) strongly opposes.
Seismic Mitigation Program and Other Technical Conforming Regulatory Amendments
The Board approved, on an emergency basis, a package of School Facility Program regulation amendments pertaining to the following issues:
- How to proceed with applications for Seismic Mitigation Program (SMP) funding now that bond funds specifically reserved for that purpose have been exhausted.
- Requiring new construction projects to submit eligibility updates for the enrollment year in which the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) processes the application.
- Allowing small school districts to request a three-year lock using enrollment figures from the year in which the eligibility application is submitted, if the district makes the request prior to OPSC’s notification that it will soon begin to process the funding application.
On June 5, 2017, the Board radically altered the School Facility Program by adopting the new construction eligibility justification policy (known as “Option 1”), which abandoned the use of eligibility in place at the time of application submittal in favor of requiring eligibility updates for the year in which OPSC processes the application. CASH believes this policy is contrary to the Proposition 51 statute approved by voters and opposed the change when it was first approved by the Board. CASH challenged the Board’s action by filing an underground regulation petition with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which declined to take up CASH’s petition but did not opine on the petition’s merits.
The regulation adopted today codifies the Board’s June 5, 2017, policy and applies to projects submitted to OPSC after that date. OPSC has indicated they do not need a regulation to implement the new construction eligibility update requirements for projects that were submitted to OPSC on or before June 5, 2017. The adopted regulation requires districts to submit an updated Enrollment Certification/Projection (Form SAB 50-01) within 90 days of OPSC notification that it will begin processing the district’s application for funding.