01.28.2014 Campaigns, Facilities Planning No Comments

November 2014 Statewide Facilities Bond Measure Update

CFW has been in close contact with staff at the State Allocation Board (SAB) and the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) to track the development of the Statewide Bond Legislation.  Draft language was reviewed at the January 22 SAB meeting, and is targeting final approval of the bond legislation by late March 2014. The January 22 SAB meeting included a public hearing for input on the draft, and will be followed by a 30-60 day public comment period to obtain additional feedback on the proposed Bond program.

The program appears to offer several benefits to School Districts with need. The following is a brief overview of the more critical recommendations:

1. All school districts should be required to re-establish their new construction eligibility baseline in order to be eligible to receive funding under the new bond. Districts would be required to provide current information to OPSC confirming classroom inventory. It is likely that districts will be unable to claim additional dwelling units based on tract maps which have yet to obtain development approvals.

 2. New construction grants may not be used for the purpose of constructing portable classrooms. Districts will now be prohibited from utilizing New Construction Grants to construct portable school facilities. Previously, districts were able to use state funds to construct portable facilities with only a 20-yr expected life, which created a drain on Modernization and Deferred Maintenance funds at the State.

3. All school districts should be required to re-establish their modernization eligibility baseline at each site in order to be eligible to receive funding under a new bond. Under the previous program, the modernization eligibility was not required to be updated periodically, and in many cases eligibility numbers on file were more than ten years old and likely to be inaccurate. Districts in the state will now be required to update all their classroom eligibility prior to being eligible for modernization funds.

4. The use of modernization grants should be limited to permanent facilities projects. This recommendation requires that all modernization monies be used to modernize permanent facilities, or to build new facilities. Funds could still be used to build new structures, or to modernize existing permanent facilities.

5. Consider changing the criteria for the financial hardship program by increasing the bond indebtedness level from 60% to 100%. The District’s eligibility for the Hardship Program in the past was linked to their having issued debt that met or exceeded 60% of the “Assessed Valuation” of all real property within the District boundaries. Districts would now be required to have issued debt in excess of 100% of the assessed valuation in order to qualify.

As these legislative efforts continue to develop, CFW will provide regular reports to our clients regarding the status of the initiative, and how the new program will impact your local district.

For more information, contact Greg Norman at gnorman@cfwinc.com.

 

 

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