12.13.2012
Newly Implemented Office of Public School Construction Regulations Create a “Waiting List” for School Districts Applying for State Funding

The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), recognizing that it will continue to receive funding applications from school districts after existing bond authority is no longer available for New Construction and Modernization applications, has implemented new regulations to deal with funding requests. Section 1859.95.1 in Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations establishes how OPSC will accept and track new applications for School Facility Program (SFP) funding that cannot be fully processed because of the lack of funding. All SFP applications received on or after November 1, 2012 will be subject to these new regulations and processing procedures as approved by the State Allocation Board (SAB). Section 1859.2 has also been revised to include several new definitions applicable to the new process.

In summary, newly implemented Section 1859.95.1 allows OPSC to accept both eligibility and funding applications without fully processing them. After applications are received and date stamped, the OPSC staff will review application packages to ensure that no required documents are missing. In addition to the documentation and information that has always been required for funding, school districts will now be required to include a school board resolution that includes several acknowledgements, as specified in the new regulations. It is important for districts to note that these newly implemented regulations do not apply to all funding applications.

If an application passes this initial intake review, the school district will be placed on a list called the Applications Received Beyond Bond Authority List (Application List) which will be organized based on the date the application was received. The Application List will be presented to the SAB for acknowledgement, but not approval. The individual applications on this list will not be fully processed by the OPSC nor individually presented to the SAB for approval. Because the applications will not be fully processed for final grant determination, the project funding amounts on the list will be estimates only and could be different if finalized.

For school districts seeking financial hardship funding, Form SAB 50-04 may be submitted without a financial hardship status pre-approval if bond authority is exhausted for the school district’s funding request. School districts will be required to have financial hardship status approval only if sufficient bond authority becomes available to process Form SAB 50-04.

The Application List is not meant to provide a guarantee of any future funding. If a school facilities program is approved in the future, OPSC has not decided whether the Application List will be processed or eligible for funding under the new criteria. However, OPSC may process applications on the Application List if funding becomes available. Thus, school districts planning to seek state funding are encouraged to become familiar with the new regulations, the resolution and acknowledgment requirements, and consult with their legal counsel to ensure their applications are in compliance and placed on the Application List.

 

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