In light of the Office of Public School Construction’s (OPSC) recent regulatory proposal to end the School Facility Program (SFP) as we know it and the Administration’s delayed sale of Proposition 51 bonds, state support for school facilities in California is in jeopardy. We appreciate the State Allocation Board’s (SAB) June 27th decision to defer action on the OPSC proposal, but we need your help to prevent the SAB from adopting it at a future meeting. We also need your help to show state decision-makers, including the Governor, Governor Candidates, and the Legislature, what funding local school construction and modernization projects means to students and local communities. The following is an update on CASH’s actions to preserve the principals of the SFP, and ensure Proposition 51 bonds are sold and projects are funded.
Today the State Allocation Board (Board) deferred action on a proposed regulation to cease accepting applications once bond authority has been exhausted. Approval of this proposal would essentially eliminate the School Facility Program (SFP) for projects outside of Proposition 51 bond authority. New Construction Proposition 51 bond authority is expected to be exhausted by October 2018, and Modernization bond authority is expected to be exhausted by September 2019.
CASH urged the Board to defer action and to thoroughly vet the proposal and its significant impacts. Chair Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez stated that she would like the proposal to come back before the Board in August 2018, and indicated that she intends to involve stakeholders in the review process.
CASH thanks all of our members who wrote or called legislators, and those who attended the Board meeting to request the deferral. It is clear that the future of the SFP is in question. This is why it is essential that CASH members and the school community participate in the discussion over the next few months. CASH will be calling on our members to directly engage in efforts to preserve the SFP.
Click here for the Item with the proposed regulation which provides more detail about the proposal. The analysis outlines the Office of Public School Construction’s concerns with maintaining a project list outside of bond authority.
~ CASH Staff
Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget only got education funding half right. While districts across California are grateful for the governor’s commitment to fully funding the voter approved Proposition 98 school funding initiative and continuing to fully fund and increase the Local Control Funding Formula, this commitment only pays for the instruction and instructional materials inside existing classrooms. Students also need highly functioning, uncrowded classrooms. How can teachers expect to be successful in aging classrooms that don’t have such basic amenities as air conditioning or working security systems?
The CASH Facility Planners Meeting Update for May 2018 is now available and includes information regarding:
- Proposition 51 Implementation – Take 30 Seconds to Repair Our Schools Now
- Register Today for the NextGen Symposium
- CASH Legislative Update
- Legislative Advisory Committee Meeting
- CASH Networking Mixer
Click here to view the update.
~ CASH Staff
Today the State Allocation Board (Board) met to hear routine business items, including two school district appeals.
Executive Officer Statement
In her Executive Officer statement, Lisa Silverman indicated that the next priority funding filing period will begin May 9, 2018 and will close June 7, 2018. Requests will be valid from July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. She also indicated that the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), California Department of Education (CDE), and Division of the State Architect continue to hold joint agency workshops. Upcoming workshops in May will focus on the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP). Applications for the fifth CTEFP cycle are due to CDE on October 19, 2018 and due to OPSC on February 15, 2019. Additionally, at the January 2018 Board meeting, the Board approved regulatory amendments for the Seismic Mitigation Program and other “technical conforming regulatory amendments” on an emergency basis. These regulations require new construction projects to submit eligibility updates for the enrollment year in which OPSC processes the application. The regulations also allow 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. Ms. Silverman stated that the regulations took effect on April 16, 2018.
The Board heard the following appeals.
- Burnt Ranch Elementary/Trinity – The Board approved the District’s request for an expedited Apportionment for replacement funding outside of the priority funding process.
- San Marcos Unified/San Diego – The Board heard the District’s request to retain unspent site acquisition funds. No motion was made, therefore the staff’s action to deny the District’s request stands.
Underground Regulation Petition and Appeals
On February 23, 2018, CASH filed an underground regulation petition with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) challenging the Board’s September 2017 action providing apportionments using the 2012 pupil grant amounts rather than the 2017 grant amounts. The projects had been approved as “unfunded” in 2012. Several districts filed appeals with OPSC on this issue.
At today’s meeting, Chair Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez indicated that OAL declined to take up a petition filed on February 23, 2017 on this matter. She said there is no legal basis for the Board to consider an appeal of its own action. She stated that two appeals were received by OPSC and the districts were notified that the matter was not appealable. Fourteen additional appeals have been received by OPSC, and Ms. Wong-Hernandez intends to notify these districts that their appeals will not be heard by the Board.
School Facility Program Unfunded Approvals and Workload List
The Board approved Unfunded Approvals (Lack of AB 55 Loans) at the April 25, 2018 meeting worth the following:
The Unfunded List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) dated March 21, 2018 includes projects worth a total of $219,443,730.49. This includes $66.5 million for 49 projects for Charter School Facilities Program Preliminary Apportionments for Design and Site funding.
The workload list dated March 31, 2018 contains projects worth the following:
Note that the workload list dollar amounts include CTEFP and Charter School Facilities Program projects.
The next State Allocation Board meeting is scheduled for May 23, 2018.
~ Rebekah Cearley, Legislative Advocate