Facilities Update - CDE to Pivot in Final Funding Cycle
School districts seeking Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities funding can expect to see one final change to the final $250 million funding cycle of the CTE Facilities Program. The State Allocation Board (board) met yesterday and voted to move forward with new regulations to further equalize the number of applications across its three funding categories: urban, suburban, and rural.
The board also approved an appeal from the Solano County Office of Education to reinstate two projects that were rescinded due to non-participation in Priorities in Funding rounds.
CTE Facilities Program funding is currently apportioned to the highest scoring applications within each applicant’s “locale code,” which are then categorized into urban, suburban, and rural categories.
School sites grouped within these categories compete against one another for funding. Locale codes are determined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), but the categorical groupings are assigned by regulations adopted by the board.
A significant number of school districts within the “town” locale code participated in two stakeholder sessions hosted by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), which we highlighted during our client update from July 24, 2019. The districts argued that the“town”localebelongs within the rural, not suburban, applicant category. Not incidentally, the rural category is far less competitive than the suburban category. The change would also help equalize the number of applicants across the three categories.
The new CTE Facilities Program regulatory amendments will be applied to the sixth funding cycle, which is open currently and closes on December 2, 2019. Unlike prior cycles, the California Department of Education (CDE) will be providing scores on a flow basis. OPSC encourages applications with a passing score to participate in the Priority Funding filing period which will occur between May 13 and June 11, 2020.
Following the recommendation of OPSC, the board recommended moving the town locale codes from suburban to rural. This action will require regulatory amendments to the existing definitions of Suburban Area and Rural Area.
Yesterday’s board meeting also featured an appeal from the Solano County Office of Education (COE). Owing to specific extenuating circumstances, the COE requested reinstatement of two School Facility Program projects that were rescinded due to non-participation in two Priorities in Funding rounds. The COE also requested that they be allowed to change the scope of the two projects to ensure completion within the approved state grants.
Following a presentation by Solano COE and a brief discussion, the board approved the COE’s request to reinstate two projects with the stipulation that the COE participate in a Priorities in Funding round within twelve months.
The next SAB meeting is scheduled for September 25, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Capitol Advisors Group
925 L Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 557-9745 office