Today the State Allocation Board (Board) met to hear a number of items, including approval of Priority Funding apportionments and adoption of regulations to implement the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program.
Executive Officer Statement
In her Executive Officer statement, Lisa Silverman provided the following updates:
- Priority Funding Apportionments – Of the 227 projects receiving an Apportionment at today’s meeting, 205 are required to submit a Fund Release Authorization (Form SAB 50-05) to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) by close of business Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
- Upcoming Priority Funding Filing Round – The next round will begin on November 14, 2018 and will close on December 13, 2018. These requests will be valid from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019.
- Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program – Regulations are included in this agenda for the Board’s approval. In preparation, OPSC conducted three stakeholder meetings to discuss the new program and elicit feedback.
Priority Funding School Construction Apportionments
The Board approved Priority Funding apportionments worth $443.4 million for 227 projects at 105 school districts. The time limit on fund release shall be no more than 90 days from the date of apportionment. These projects are subject to Grant Agreement requirements.
Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program Regulations
The Board unanimously approved regulations, forms, and a Grant Agreement for the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program. The regulations will be filed on an emergency basis. The program was created by AB 1808 (2018), allowing school districts that lack the facilities to provide full-day kindergarten to apply for one-time grants to construct new school facilities or retrofit existing school facilities for the purpose of providing full-day kindergarten classrooms. AB 1808 provides $100 million out of the General Fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Funds will be immediately available (i.e. not subject to the Priority Funding certification process used for the School Facility Program) and allocated through two funding rounds:
- First Round: January 2, 2019-January 31, 2019 – $37.5 million
- Second Round: May 1, 2019-May 30, 2019 – $60.0 million
$2.5 million is reserved for Department of General Services administrative costs.
In order to be eligible for a grant, a district must lack the facilities to adequately and appropriately provide full-day kindergarten instruction for existing kindergarten pupils at the project school site. This occurs if the kindergarten enrollment at the site exceeds the existing kindergarten classroom capacity using the School Facility Program loading standard of 25 K-6 pupils per classroom. While traditional School Facility Program eligibility is not required to access the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant program, an adjustment to the new construction baseline will be made for any new classrooms added by a project.
Grant funding will be calculated using the most current School Facility Program K-6 per pupil grant amounts. The program includes a local match requirement: 50/50 state and local share for new construction, and 60/40 state and local share for retrofit of existing facilities. Financial Hardship assistance is available to districts that can’t make their local matching share contribution. The program provides supplemental grants, including a 35% increase to the base grant for site development and a 15% increase for retrofit projects with permanent buildings 50 years old and older if utility work is in the approved plans. If funds are insufficient to fully fund all approved applications, funding order will be determined using preference points for Financial Hardship and the percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Meals.
Emergency Re-Adoption of School Facility Program Regulation Section 1859.51(e)
The Board approved an amendment to Regulation Section 1859.51(e). At its January 2018 meeting, the Board approved emergency regulations requiring applicants to update their enrollment projection for the year in which the Office of Public School Construction reviews the application. The Office of Administrative Law required additional clarification on this section. The amended language provides more specificity on the “current enrollment year.” For SAB 50-01 forms received July 1 through October 31, applicants shall submit prior fiscal year enrollment data. For SAB 50-01 forms received November 1 through June 30, applicants shall submit current fiscal year enrollment data.
School Facility Program Approvals and Workload List
The Board approved Unfunded Approvals (Lack of AB 55 Loans) at the October 24, 2018 meeting worth the following:
- New Construction: $13,602,343
- Modernization: $12,480,377
- Total: $26,082,720
The Unfunded Approvals List (Lack of AB 55 Loans) dated September 26, 2018 contains projects worth $571,277,184.44.
The workload list dated September 30, 2018 contains projects worth the following:
- New Construction: $2,678,601,292
- Modernization: $1,788,118,978
- Total: $4,466,720,270
The next State Allocation Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 2 p.m.
~ Rebekah Cearley, Legislative Advocate