On Tuesday, June 16, the Governor and Legislature reached an agreement to finalize the State Budget and on Friday, June 19, the Legislature approved trailer bill AB 104, to enact key education portions of the budget. This agreement does not make any significant changes to the funding amounts for facilities items that we reported to you on Monday, June 15.
Included in AB 104 is a phase-in of the 3% Routine Restricted Maintenance Account (RRMA) contribution, rather than full restoration of the RRMA contribution in 2015-16 as was previously scheduled to take place under current law. The following are the details of the provision:
For 2015-16 and 2016-17:
The minimum amount required to be deposited into the account shall be the lesser of the following amounts:
- Three percent of the total general fund expenditures for that fiscal year OR
- The amount that the school district deposited into the account in the 2014–15 fiscal year.
For 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20:
The minimum amount required to be deposited into the account shall be the greater of the following amounts:
- The lesser of 3 percent of the general fund expenditures for that fiscal year or the amount that the school district deposited into the account in the 2014–15 fiscal year OR
- Two percent of the total general fund expenditures of the applicant school district for that fiscal year.
For 2020-21 and beyond:
The 3% RRMA contribution, last required in 2007-08, is scheduled to return for districts that have received School Facility Program funds. The timing of this return is intended to coincide with anticipated full implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula.
Specifies that districts which received at least 10% of the total funding under the School Facility Program (SFP) in the last four state bonds must deposit the full 3% of their general fund into the RRMA unless the district has locally negotiated an alternative minimum annual deposit percentage in a collective bargaining agreement with representatives of the school district’s skilled crafts employees. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the only district that meets these criteria.
Use of Funds for Drought Related Purposes
The bill also specifies that funds in the account may be used for drought mitigation purposes related to implementation of the Executive Order B-29-15 related to water conservation.
Unfortunately, this means that effectively “Budget Flexibility” that was enacted in 2008-09 is still partially in effect. School maintenance departments will likely have to strongly advocate for some of the billions in new state funding allocated to school districts in order to have the required sufficient local resources in their Local Control Accountability Plans to meet the state law required “Good Repair” standard.
~ Ian Padilla