Facilities Update – Revisiting CTE Facilities Program Rules

Posted By: Andrea Bennett CITE News,

At yesterday's State Allocation Board Meeting, potential changes to the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP) were postponed after the board received concerned responses from school districts. Prior to withdrawing the item, the board had planned to evaluate changes to its methodology for allocating the remaining $250 million in CTEFP funds authorized by Proposition 51 (2016).

The Office of Public School Construction, which administers the program, is expected to announce a forthcoming stakeholder meeting to discuss the methodology used to fund applications in future funding cycles.

For equity purposes, the program currently distributes funding among the highest scoring applications within a "locale" category—urban, suburban, and rural—which is determined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). One potential amendment would have ranked applications within specified regions instead.

The agenda item presented districts with an opportunity to raise a diverse set of concerns (not limited to using locales versus regions) about how the current system has played out in practice.

The following comments were raised:

·    The final $250 million should not be split between two funding cycles, given the redundant costs of resubmitting and reassessing applications.

·    Some highly populated cities are grouped by NCES into the “rural” category, creating a disadvantage for truly small and rural schools.

·    Some rural schools were categorized as “suburban,” despite being small and remote.

·    The “suburban” and “urban” categories were highly competitive; some of these applicants received higher scores than districts “rural” pool, but failed to win a grant.

·    The forthcoming sixth funding cycle should provide awards to high-scoring fifth cycle applicants who barely missed the scoring cut-off (especially in the more competitive “urban” category).

·    The California Department of Education’s scoring method is inconsistent – not just between competing districts, but also between the same district’s applications from one funding cycle to the next.

The board postponed any further discussion or action until its June 26 meeting at the earliest. We anticipate OPSC to announce a stakeholder meeting prior to the next board meeting.

Aside from taking comments on the CTE Facilities Program, the board adopted several important actions:

·    Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program: $37.5 million was apportioned for the program’s first cycle. The second filing round ($60 million) opened on May 1, 2019, and will close on May 30, 2019.

·    CTEFP: 70 projects received unfunded approvals for the fifth funding cycle. These districts may participate in the current “Priority Funding Filing Round” which opened on May 8, 2019, and will close on June 6, 2019.

·    Military base schools: Four projects were funded for Muroc Joint Unified, which has facilities at Edwards Air Force Base.

·    New unfunded approvals: Unfunded approval of 44 new construction and modernization applications totaling $90.02 million. These are not expected to be funded under Proposition 51’s exhausted bond authority.

The Board’s next meeting is Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Derick Lennox

Legislative Counsel

Capitol Advisors Group

925 L Street, Suite 1200

Sacramento, CA 95819

(916) 557-9745 office