Forthcoming Regulations Will Help School Districts Determine Proportionate Share and Allowable Direct Costs for the Use of School Facilities and Grounds

Under the Civic Center Act (Education Code Section 38130 et seq.), every public school facility is considered a civic center where citizens, school-community councils, and clubs, as well as senior, recreation, education, political, artistic, and other organizations may meet. A school district may grant use of school facilities and grounds upon certain terms and conditions deemed proper by the governing board and subject to specified limitations, requirements, and restrictions set forth within the law.

Amendments to the Civic Center went into effect January 1, 2013 pursuant to the passage and enactment of Senate Bill (“SB”) 1404. This legislation expanded, until January 1, 2020, the definition of direct costs that a school district governing board may charge to include a share of the operating costs and a share of the maintenance, repair, restoration, and refurbishment costs of the school facilities or grounds, proportional to any entity’s use of the school facilities or grounds.

On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education approved the commencement of the rulemaking process. A second public comment period regarding recent proposed changes ended February 3, 2014. Once the additional public comment is considered, sections 14037-14042 will be deemed adopted and submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for final approval and addition to Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Subchapter 1.5.

These pending regulations are meant to be used by school districts as a guide for what specific allowable costs may be included as direct costs, and how to determine a proportionate share. In light of these proposed guidelines and their forthcoming adoption by the State Board of Education, school districts should stay attentive and be prepared to review and update their Civic Center Act policies and administrative regulations to ensure maximum recovery of direct costs. We will provide a summary of the adopted regulations once they become final.

  • Suparna  Jain

    Suparna Jain represents school districts, community college districts, water districts, other public entities, as well as some private clients. Currently she serves as Assistant General Counsel to United Water Conservation ...

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