California schools continue to show strong interest in offering career technical education opportunities to students, with 282 local educational agencies applying for a piece of $250 million in dedicated facilities funding. The development was shared at the Jan. 22 meeting of the State Allocation Board, which meets monthly at the State Capitol to apportion funds to school districts, act on appeals, and adopt policies and regulations.
The $250 million available through the Career Technical Education Program represents the final piece of Proposition 51’s $500 million to construct and modernize CTE facilities as well as to purchase equipment on comprehensive high school sites. Through the program, the state matches $3 million for new construction projects and $1.5 million for modernization.
The program’s sixth filing round is open until April 6, 2020; CTE grant applicants were due to the California Department of Education by Dec. 2. Because the CDE will be providing scores on a rolling basis, officials said applicants with eligible project scores (105 or higher) should submit the follow-up application for funding immediately upon learning of their score.
The Office of Public Construction and CDE hosted a workshop about the program’s sixth filing round in November that is now viewable online.
In other State Allocation Board and facilities news:
- Executive Officer to the board Lisa Silverman reported that the state released $133.2 million in facilities funds in November and December.
- The OPSC announced it is holding a Facility Hardship Program stakeholder meeting at the State Capitol from 9–11 a.m. A first meeting looking at amendments to the program was held Jan. 10. The amendments aim to focus on improving the application process, clarifying the existing regulations and address several other issues and concerns. The State Allocation Board is expected to discuss and approve the changes at its February meeting.
- This board approved a 2.08 percent increase to School Facility Program grant amounts based on the statewide cost index for Class B construction. The board adjusts the grants each year to reflect construction cost changes.
- Staff reported they are working on an implementation plan should Proposition 13 (The Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Act of 2020) be approved by voters on the March 3 ballot. New polling shows that 53 percent of likely voters support a critical state bond measure that would provide $15 billion for facilities at California’s preschools, K-12 schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
- For the priority funding filing period of Nov. 13–Dec. 12, 2019, OPSC received 130 applicants for 274 unique projects totaling $829.7 million. These requests are valid through June 30, 2020.
The next State Allocation Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m.