On Tuesday, November 6, California voters elected Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom as the next Governor of California. CASH looks forward to working with the new Administration who we hope will be more supportive of school facilities than Governor Brown. As far as the Legislature, the 2017-2018 Legislative Session adjourned for final recess on August 31, and the new two-year Session will begin officially on December 3 with the swearing in of newly elected members of the Legislature.
The Coalition for Adequate School Housing and three California school districts initiated litigation to require the State of California to comply with the law regarding school facility state match funding. Named in the suit are Governor Brown, Director of Finance Bosler and the State Allocation Board.
Current law is simple and clear regarding how the state match for school facilities is calculated and apportioned to eligible school districts. Notwithstanding current law’s clarity, the state chose to shortchange the students in the school districts that have been waiting almost six years for their state match funding.
State Officials Sued for Not Following Regulations
Today, the Coalition for Adequate School Housing and three school districts initiated litigation to require the State of California to comply with the regulations regarding allowing school district appeals to the State Allocation Board. Named in the suit are the Department of Finance, the State Allocation Board, and the Office of Public School Construction.
The Department of Finance cannot unilaterally deny a district’s ability to appeal to the State Allocation Board (SAB) in violation of the SAB’s own rules. If a single SAB member (or Agency) can, without Board action, change the Board’s long established rules, no school district in California, now or in the future, will be able to rely on those rules with an expectation that it be treated equitably.
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.