Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1578 School Pavement to Parks Grant Program.(2019-2020)

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Pilot programs throughout the state have successfully worked with organizations to convert portions of pavement on school grounds to school parks.
(b) Communities such as Arleta rank in the top 20 of communities with the worst air quality within the County of Los Angeles.
(c) Children in disadvantaged communities and low-income communities struggle to have access to clean and safe parks, and suffer from numerous health issues as a result of their proximity to freeways and stationary sources of pollution.
(d) In addition to helping the state reach its air quality goals, outdoor programs have been proven to do all of the following for pupils:
(1) Improve physical fitness.
(2) Support creativity and imaginative play.
(3) Inspire collaborative play.
(4) Reduce violence and bullying.
(5) Reduce stress.
(6) Create empathy for plants and animals.
(7) Inspire critical thinking and problem solving.
(8) Increase competency in science, language arts and literacy, mathematics, visual-spatial thinking, and construction and engineering.
(e) Shade trees play a significant role in reducing urban heat islands. Urban heat islands are urban or metropolitan areas that are significantly warmer than their surrounding rural areas due to human activities.
(f) Overall temperatures in urban areas can be reduced by several degrees by increasing the amount of trees and green space in those areas.

SEC. 2.

 Article 15 (commencing with Section 33490) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 20 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  15. School Pavement to Parks Grant Program
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the School Pavement to Parks Grant Program.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Applicant” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(b) “Disadvantaged communities” means communities identified as disadvantaged communities pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) “Low-income communities” has the same meaning as defined in Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) “Organization” means a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(e) “Program” means the School Pavement to Parks Grant Program established pursuant to Section 33492.
 (a) The School Pavement to Parks Grant Program is hereby established, under the administration of the department.
(b) (1) The purpose of the program is to enable schools located in disadvantaged communities or low-income communities with no or minimal green space at schoolsites to convert existing pavement to green space.
(2) Green space shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, a garden used to implement a gardening education program that incorporates science, mathematics, and literacy for hands-on outdoor learning at schoolsites. Applicants are encouraged to consider including trees in the green space and developing a schoolyard ecosystem, and implement a six-week cycle nutrition educational program, such as planting, harvesting, and providing food for pupils and staff.
(c) An applicant shall provide a dollar-for-dollar local match of grants it receives from the department under the program, which may be provided by the applicant or another source, including an organization or another governmental agency.
 (a) The department shall establish processes and procedures for the allocation of grants under the program, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The process and timeline for applying and awarding grants.
(2) The maximum amount for each grant.
(3) Eligible uses of grants.
(4) Reporting requirements.
(5) Verification that approval from the Division of State Architect has been received, if the Division of State Architect approval is necessary for a proposed project.
(b) (1) Priority for funding shall be based on the following:
(A) Applicants with schools located in areas with the worst air quality.
(B) The number of pupils who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at schools for which an applicant has applied for grants.
(C) Applicants applying for a school where all, or a majority of, the playground at the schoolsite consists of pavement.
(2) Applicants applying for schools with no or limited access to green space or poor air quality that are located in disadvantaged communities shall receive priority for funding over applicants applying for schools with good air quality or access to green space that are located in low-income communities.
(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, air quality shall be determined pursuant to the applicable air quality data averages determined by the applicable air pollution control or air quality management districts.
(c) Each applicant shall provide the following information in its application:
(1) The school or schools for which it is applying for grants.
(2) The percentage of the school or schools’ playground that consists of pavement.
(3) The percentage of the school or schools’ pupils who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
(4) The amount of pavement the applicant seeks to convert to green space.
(5) A description of how the grants will be used.
(6) Demonstration of both of the following:
(A) A commitment to maintaining the green space long term.
(B) That sufficient space remains for purposes of existing and future school activities on pavement.
(d) An applicant that receives a request from a school in the school district or county office of education to participate in the program shall inform the school that it has received the request in a timely manner.
 The operation of this article is contingent upon a one-time appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this article.
SEC. 3.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.