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AB-966 Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program: appropriation.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
AB966:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 966


Introduced by Assembly Member Burke

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 17375 of the Education Code, relating to school facilities, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 966, as introduced, Burke. Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program: appropriation.
Existing law establishes the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program, under the administration of the State Allocation Board, to provide one-time grants to school districts to construct new school facilities or retrofit existing school facilities for the purpose of providing full-day kindergarten classrooms, as specified. Existing law provides that, commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, the grant program is contingent upon appropriation by the Legislature.
This bill, for the 2021–22 fiscal year, would appropriate $300,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Allocation Board for allocation for purposes of the grant program.
Funds appropriated by this bill would be applied toward the minimum funding requirements for school districts and community college districts imposed by Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 17375 of the Education Code is amended to read:

17375.
 (a) (1) The Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program is hereby established, under the administration of the State Allocation Board pursuant to the requirements of this section, to provide one-time grants to school districts to construct new school facilities or retrofit existing school facilities for the purpose of providing full-day kindergarten classrooms pursuant to Section 8973.
(2) Moneys appropriated pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Account, hereby created in the State Treasury, administered by the State Allocation Board.
(3) For the 2018–19 fiscal year, the sum of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Allocation Board to provide one-time grants as specified in this section.
(4) (A) (i) Commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, this program is contingent upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(ii) For the 2021–22 fiscal year, three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Allocation Board for allocation for purposes of this article.
(B) (i) Of the moneys allocated to a school district from the appropriation made pursuant to this paragraph, savings and interest achieved upon full completion of an approved project, and as a result of a school district’s efficient and prudent expenditure of the moneys allocated, may be used for professional development or instructional materials to build capacity for the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program, or high priority capital outlay purposes identified by the school district and in accordance with subdivision (f), associated regulations, and any accompanying grant agreement.
(ii) Notwithstanding any other law, for purposes of the funds appropriated in support of this paragraph only, a school district may retain and use savings and interest pursuant to clause (i) even if it receives financial hardship assistance pursuant to Section 17075.10.
(iii) Savings and interest retained by a school district must shall be expended within one year of project completion or returned to the state as defined by associated regulations and any accompanying grant agreement.
(C) For the first two years after any funds have been appropriated in support of this paragraph, funds shall be limited to schoolsites that did not offer a full-day kindergarten program as of July 1, 2019, and that will use the funding to convert a part-day kindergarten program to a full-day kindergarten program.
(5) New school facilities built pursuant to this section shall not be included in the eligibility determination used for purposes of the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (Chapter 12.5 (commencing with Section 17070.10) of Part 10).
(b) (1) The State Allocation Board shall award grants to school districts that lack the facilities to provide full-day kindergarten as required for eligibility pursuant to Sections 17071.25 and 17072.10 or that lack facilities that satisfy the design requirements required for new kindergarten classrooms as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 14030 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Priority for grants shall be given to school districts that meet either of the following criteria:
(A) The school district is financially unable to contribute a portion of, or all of, the local matching share required pursuant to paragraph (3), and meets the requirements for financial hardship pursuant to Section 17075.10.
(B) The school district is located in an underserved community with a high population of pupils who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 42238.01.
(3) Except for school districts that meet the requirements for financial hardship pursuant to Section 17075.10 and as specified in paragraph (4), a school district that applies for a grant pursuant to this section for new construction shall provide 50 percent of the cost of the project, and a school district that applies for a grant pursuant to this section for a retrofit project shall provide 40 percent of the cost of the project.
(4) Except for school districts that meet the requirements for financial hardship pursuant to Section 17075.10, a school district that will convert a part-day kindergarten program to a full-day kindergarten program shall provide 25 percent of the cost of the project whether the project is for new construction or retrofit. A school district that was awarded a grant from funds appropriated pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) and met the requirements of this paragraph shall have its grant amount adjusted.
(5) A school district seeking a grant from moneys in the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Account shall provide the Office of Public School Construction with schoolsite enrollment data for the year in which its application is processed and the three immediately preceding years. The Office of Public School Construction shall use this data to verify the schoolsite’s overall need for funding pursuant to this section based on the schoolsite’s enrollment patterns. As part of this verification, the Office of Public School Construction, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall determine if the schoolsite’s need for funding shall be limited to retrofit projects.
(c) The State Allocation Board shall disburse grant funds to school districts with approved applications for new construction or retrofit projects, to the extent funds are available for the state’s applicable matching share, if the school district has provided its applicable local matching share, unless the school district meets the requirements for financial hardship pursuant to Section 17075.10, and upon certification by the school district that the school district has entered into a binding contract for completion of the approved project.
(d) The State Allocation Board shall allocate funds to school districts using the same maximum grant eligibility amounts that are used for purposes of the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (Chapter 12.5 (commencing with Section 17070.10) of Part 10), as set forth in Sections 17072.10 and 17072.11 for new construction, and as set forth in Section 17074.10 for retrofit projects.
(e) As a condition of receiving grant funds pursuant to this section, and before the release of those funds, the school district shall execute and submit a grant agreement consistent with the applicable sections of the grant agreement specified in Section 1859.90.4 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
(f) (1) A school district may use grant funds awarded for new construction on costs necessary to adequately house kindergarten pupils in an approved project, which shall include only the following:
(A) The costs of design, engineering, testing, inspections, plan checking, construction management, site acquisition and development, evaluation and response action costs relating to hazardous substances at a new or existing schoolsite, demolition, construction, landscaping, necessary utility costs, utility connections and other related fees, equipment including telecommunication equipment to increase school security, furnishings, the upgrading of electrical systems, and the wiring or cabling of classrooms in order to accommodate educational technology.
(B) The costs of acquiring an existing government-owned or privately owned building, or a privately financed school building, and the necessary costs of converting the government-owned or privately owned building for public school use.
(2) (A) A school district may use grant funds awarded for a retrofit project to retrofit an existing school facility to adequately house kindergarten pupils, which shall only include the costs of design, engineering, testing, inspection, plan checking, construction management, demolition, construction, necessary utility costs, utility connection and other related fees, the purchase and installation of air-conditioning equipment and insulation materials and related costs, furniture and equipment, including telecommunication equipment to increase school security, fire safety improvements, playground safety improvements, the identification, assessment, or abatement of hazardous asbestos, seismic safety improvements, the upgrading of electrical systems, and the wiring or cabling of classrooms in order to accommodate educational technology.
(B) Grant funds awarded for a retrofit project shall not be used for costs associated with acquisition and development of real property or for routine maintenance and repair.
(g) The State Allocation Board may adopt regulations to implement this section. Any regulations adopted pursuant to this section may be adopted as emergency regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of the Title 2 of the Government Code). The adoption of these regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare.
(h) Notwithstanding any other law, a school district shall be subject, with regard to this section, to an audit conducted pursuant to Section 41024.
(i) The Office of Public School Construction shall report to the Director of Finance, and shall post on its internet website, information regarding the use of grant funds that have been made available to school districts during each fiscal year grant funds are disbursed pursuant to this section. A final report shall also be issued after projects have been audited pursuant to Section 41024 and any savings have been spent or returned to the state.
(j) The Department of General Services may charge its administrative costs against the Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Account, which shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Finance and which shall not exceed 2.5 percent of the account.
(k) Funds made available to school districts pursuant to this article shall supplement, not supplant, existing funds available for school facilities construction.
(l) For purposes of this section, kindergarten includes transitional kindergarten, as defined in Section 48000.