January 11, 2016

January 2016 Hall Monitor

Taking the Initiative on the Need for a State School Bond

By Eric Hall

Proposition 1D, a $7.3B State Bonds measure was passed by the voters in 2006 and was the last State wide bond measure to be placed on the ballot. With the exception of some funds remaining from prior State bond measures, schools have planned, funded and constructed facilities with only local resources with no help from the State on their obligation to provide their match. Consequently, a backlog in funding of approved and acknowledged projects at the SAB is in the $2.5 B range and State-wide needs have been estimated to be a much as $12B. The State funding under SB 50 and the deficit of State funds has been well addressed and articulated by many organizations with CASH at the forefront. Several reports and research studies have been published and the Center for Cities and Schools at UC Berkeley has taken a leadership role in facilitating the policy discussion and published, “Going it Alone, Can California School Districts Adequately and Equitably Fund School Facilities.”

http://citiesandschools.berkeley.edu/uploads/Vincent__Jain_2015_Going_it_Alone_final.pdf

The CASH organization has worked with representatives in the Legislature and in the Governor’s Office for several years with a serious effort to get a bond on the ballot commencing in 2010, as the State’s economic conditions improved. In 2014 several bond bills were introduced by Assembly Members Buchanan, Liu and Corbett. Bond legislation sailed through the legislature during this session without a single no vote. The Governor stated his opposition to the State funding school facilities. Legislation to support school facilities with a State Wide Bond measure that received legislative support was never formally submitted to the Governor for action. It became increasing apparent that a State wide school bond would only be possible through the initiative process.

Californians for Quality Schools was created by CASH and CBIA to successfully place a bond on the ballot and effort to raise funds is underway. In November, voters will have opportunity to decide on proving funding for school facilities on the Kindergarten through Community Colleges State Public Education Facilities Bond of 2016.
For more information on this bond initiative, please contact Eric Hall at (760)-602-9352or at eric@ehanda.com.


SAB Increases Developer Impact Fees
By Bob Nicholson 
At the January 27th SAB meeting, development impact fees were increased from the 2014 rate of $3.36 to $3.39 per square foot for new residential construction and from $.54 to $0.55 per square foot for new commercial/industrial construction (1.00% increase).SAB is expected to revisit the developer fee at it’s February 24th meeting.  Government Code Section 65995 and Education Code Section 17620 give Districts authority to collect development impact fees for residential, commercial and industrial development.
To charge and collect development impact fees, school districts are required to adopt aDeveloper Fee Justification Study (DFJS). The DFJS should be completed in even numbered years after the State Allocation Board (SAB) approves a change in fees. The study establishes the need for the fee, nexus between the fee and type of development to be assessed, and its reasonableness in relation to the type of school facilities provided.
A DFJS is prepared in accordance with Government Code Section 66000 in order to establish the nexus between the impact of new residential and commercial/ industrial development and the need for the construction and/or reconstruction of school facilities in the District. Finding that a fee is justified, a District is then authorized, after notice and a public hearing, to charge the fee.

Although the justification study will identify the amount that should be collected to mitigate school construction needs, the law limits the amount that can be collected to $3.39 per square foot of residential and $0.55 per square foot of commercial/industrial development. This base line fee can be increased only if specific criteria are met.

OPSC Developer Fee May Increase to $3.48 per sq. ft. at February SAB meeting

Due to a discrepancy discovered with the RS Means Index, the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) recommended to the State Allocation Board (SAB) at the January 27th meeting. OPCS staff initially reported the RS Means Index maximum Level 1 assessment per square foot to be $3.53 for 2016, but their final report indicated the lower amount of $3.39 per square foot, the number adopted by the Board.

For more information on this increase, please contact Bob Nicholson at (858) 414-6268 orbob@ehanda.com.


Funding Education in the 21st Century
By Julie Romero
California School Boards Association published a study following Governor Brown’s  new budget proposal titled   California’s Challenge-Adequately Funding Education in the 21 Century.  The report looks at current state funding levels and the issues surrounding what is needed for all students to meet California State Standards.

For more information on this article, please contact Bob Nicholson at (858)414-6268 orbob@ehanda.com.


SSPI Increases Bid Threshold
By Julie Romero

Effective January 1, 2016, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) increased the bid threshold for K-12 school districts and community college districts from $86,000 to $87,800.  Construction contracts under the PCC retain their $15,000 threshold.
For more information on bid limits for your district, please visit  http://www.lacoe.edu//Portals/0/Bulletins/4269.pdf.
If you have questions regarding this article, please contact Bob Nicholson at (858)414-6268 or bob@ehanda.com.


DIR Suspension of Electronic Filing
By Julie Romero

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) informed contractors and subcontractor’s enforcement of posting on-line electronic certified payroll reporting (eCPR) is temporarily on hold.

For more information on DIR’s pending upgrade, please visit:  http://www.dir.ca.gov/Public-Works/Certified-Payroll-Reporting.html or contact Bob Nicholson at (858-)414-6268 or bob@ehanda.com.


No Child Left off Line
By Eric Hall

A district in the Coachella Valley has taken the initiative to provide technology services to students in a very unconventional way. Internet routers powered by solar panels attached to school busses, provide the connectivity necessary for 21st century learning. The community can connect and use this traveling resource as well. For more information on this creative approach and inspiring story, please go to:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/wi-fi-enabled-school-buses-leave-no-child-offline/

For more information on this article, please contact Bob Nicholson at (858)441-6268 orbob@ehanda.com.


State Allocation Board
The following remaining bond authority was reported at the SAB meeting on January 27, 2016.

There will be no State Allocation Board meeting in February. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Remaining Bond Authority (in millions)
Modernization
$ 2.5
Overcrowding Relief
$ 7.0
Seismic Repair
$ 91.4
New Construction
$ 13.9
Charter School
$ 36.3
High Performance Schools
$ 0.5
Critically Overcrowded Schools
$ –
Hardship
$ 1.3
Career Technical Education
$ 17.9
Grand Total
$ 170.8

CASH Update 
Next CASH meeting is on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.  The new meeting location will be at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento.

The Executive Officer of OPSC, Lisa Silverman, gave a SAB update which included status on the priority funding round ending on December 10, 2015.
Currently, the Unfunded List has 15 projects for ten school districts, (Lack of AB 55 loans) totaling $87.4 million.

The SAB approved $190.9 million in priority funding apportionments for 53 projects representing 26 school districts on September 8, 2015. The SAB OPSC had $100.3 million in requests for funding as of November 20, 2015.

Lisa also reiterated that at the August 2015 SAB meeting, the SAB asked whether the State would take on increased costs for the General Obligation Bond sale held on August 26, 2015. The Treasurer’s office provided OPSC a link to their DEBT AFFORDABILITY REPORT that provides information on how the state bonds affect the market. The report can be found at: http://treasurer.ca.gov/publications/dar/2015.pdf

As for the Regulation Update, Lisa reported the SFP regulatory amendments were approved by the Office of Administrative Law on November 3, 2015, and came into effect as of January 1, 2016.

If you have any questions regarding upcoming meetings, please visit:http://www.dgs.ca.gov/opsc/AboutUs/sab.aspx or contact Bob Nicholson at (858-)414-6268 or  bob@ehanda.com.


We are pleased and honored to serve California school districts and county offices of education and provide services, support and guidance necessary for success.

All the best,

Eric Hall, President

Eric Hall & Associates

cell  (760) 519-8531

eric@EHandA.com