Message from the Chair – Tough Times Don’t Last – Tough People Do!
As with every aspect of American life, COVID-19 has changed the game for the education community, including the school facilities and maintenance sector. California schools are confronted with questions on procedures and processes about cleaning and disinfecting to ensure learning environments are clean, safe and healthy. The opportunities and challenges presented by the necessity of distance learning, providing food to under-served students who might not otherwise have access to meals, and significant State funding challenges on the horizon. CASH was born in conflict, and we are meeting these challenges as we always do through education and advocacy.
Under the Board of Director’s leadership, CASH has focused on direct communication to our members on the most important issues facing them related to COVID-19. Specifically, CASH has presented no cost weekly webinars focused on issues such as cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and job-sites; navigating the confusing maze of state and local “essential” workers and project executive orders; bidding in a COVID-19 environment; possible funding opportunities related to federal stimulus, and other key issues. In addition, the CASH Maintenance Network (CMN) has partnered with the School Energy Coalition (SEC) in offering a two-day WebShop, which consisted of two extended webinars in the same week, that focused on the critical issue of indoor air quality, ventilation and acceptance testing issues (the DSA has announced during the WebShop it will require Co2 monitors on school projects), energy resiliency and efficiency.
The CASH legislative advocacy team is navigating through confusing current state and federal budget environments in pursuit of funding opportunities and regulatory relief for school facility and maintenance issues. Specifically, CASH continues to advocate for the funding of all unfunded Proposition 51 projects, protecting the Routine Restricted Maintenance Account (RRMA) from being cut, and engaging on bills and State budget items related to COVID-19, and school facilities and maintenance (COVID-19 issues will be the exclusive focus of state budget and legislation).
Finally, CASH is conducting a deconstruction and analysis of why Proposition 13 was not approved by voters, with an eye toward lessons learned regarding voter’s attitudes and appetite for supporting state and local initiatives to build and modernize schools.
In conclusion, I would like to inform you of a change in location and dates for our 2021 CASH Annual Conference on School Facilities, originally scheduled to be held in Sacramento on February 23-26. As you may be aware, the Sacramento Convention Center is undergoing a renovation and is due to reopen in late 2020. While the construction has been deemed essential and work continues on the site, the CASH Board of Directors has made a determination to move the Conference out of Sacramento.
The CASH 42nd Annual Conference on School Facilities will now be held March 1-3, 2021 in Palm Springs, California. While this was not an easy decision to make, it is the right one to ensure that our attendees are in an environment that will support a high-quality conference experience! We look forward to returning to Sacramento in future years.
As the Annual Conference planning progresses, we will remain flexible in response to the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation, evaluating options that ensure the safety of our attendees while facilitating great educational and networking opportunities.
Please look for registration and exhibitor/sponsor information in the Fall. For those of you who pre-purchased your exhibit space in February 2020, CASH staff will be contacting you to ensure placement of your booth in the new location.
We look forward to seeing you in Palm Springs in March of 2021, if not before.