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Board Awards $1B for School Builds Statewide

The money for the project from the state-level board, which is the “policy-level body for programs administered by the Office of Public School Construction,” will likely have considerable intersection with technology.

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A state board that determines where voter-approved school construction bonds and state funding are spent has made substantial allocations of note to technology and innovation companies.

The State Allocation Board (SAB) which is staffed and supported by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC), has awarded $1 billion for school construction statewide. The awards, announced by the California Department of General Services (DGS), come out of voters’ approval of Prop. 51 in November 2016, which augmented the School Facility Program (SFP) by $7 billion; and from “state General Fund proceeds.” As SAB staff, OPSC “implements and administers a $47 billion school facilities construction program” according to its website. The SAB is the “policy-level body” for programs the OPSC administers; the latter resides under DGS, the department said Wednesday.

According to DGS, “$802.6 million was allocated to SFP new construction and modernization projects, $142.8 million to new construction and rehabilitation projects under the Charter School Facilities Program (CSFP), and $59.4 million for new construction and retrofit projects for the California Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program (FDK).”

“With over $4.9 billion provided to, or intended for distribution by, the State Allocation Board in the 2022-2023 state budget, the Office of Public School Construction has done a phenomenal job processing funding applications for the construction of facilities throughout the state,” the Department of Finance’s Chief Deputy Director of Policy Gayle Miller said in a statement. “The administration is excited to see the facilities that will be constructed with these awards.” Among the takeaways:

  • The OPSC, via the SAB, has responsibility for processing and funding applications for school facility construction grants; for helping school districts during a facilities construction project; auditing their project expenditures; for accounting and reconciliation functions; for administrative support to the SAB; and for creating ‘regulations, policies and procedures in order to carry out the mandates of the SAB. The SAB awarded $802.6 million for 265 projects across 111 school districts statewide, via the SFP New Construction and Modernization programs. With rounding, those projects include $1.4 million in Prop. 51 monies for two “Career Tech New Construction” projects – making the total about $2.8 million – at Vista Unified School District in San Diego County; $5.9 million in Prop. 51 monies to Lafayette Elementary School District in Contra Costa County for three “Modernization” projects; and $17 million in Prop. 51 monies for “New Construction” to Southern Kern Unified School District in Kern County. School districts get state matching funds for SFP projects, to help pay for “shovel-ready” projects or to pay districts back for projects finished with local funds.
  • Thirteen projects from nine applicants were funded statewide via the CSFP, to build new charter schools or to rehab “existing district-owned facilities that are at least 15 years old for charter school use. With rounding, these included $50.1 million “total reserved preliminary apportionment” to Magnolia Science Academy 5 in Los Angeles Unified School District; $28.7 million in total apportionment to Cox Academy in Oakland Unified School District; and $13.7 million in total apportionment to Natomas Charter School in Natomas Unified School District.
  • The SAB awarded $59.4 million to 18 projects in 18 school districts statewide under the FDK, which funds new facilities and retrofits around “preschool, transitional kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs.” With rounding, these included $7.9 million for a project at Nueva Vista Language Academy at Elementary School District in Kern County; $7.6 million for a project at New Early Learning Center in Guadalupe Union School District in Santa Barbara County; and $7 million for a project at Driffill Elementary School at Oxnard Elementary School District in Ventura County.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.