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Charter School Facilities Program Update: New Filing Round

Revised March 28, 2017


With the passage of Proposition 51, $500 million has been made available for the Charter School Facilities Program (CSFP).  The CSFP provides preliminary apportionments (reservation of bond authority) for new construction projects and rehabilitation of district owned existing facilities that are at least 15-years old. Charter schools or school districts filing on behalf of a charter school may apply.

                                    

Applications are accepted during specified filing rounds.  At present, pursuant to School Facility Regulation Section 1859.161, the next round will open on February 6, 2017, and remain open for 120 days.  The deadline to submit an application will be 5:00 p.m. on June 5, 2017.  To apply to the CSFP, a complete Application for Charter School Preliminary Apportionment (Form SAB 50-09) and all other supporting documents must be physically received by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) prior to 5:00 p.m. on June 5, 2017.  Additionally, a complete and valid California School Finance Authority Charter School Facilities Program Application (Form CSFA 03-01) must be submitted to the California School Finance Authority (CSFA) by 5:00 p.m. on June 5, 2017.   Please visit CSFA webpage for information on their submittal process.  Applications may not be emailed, faxed or otherwise electronically transferred and must contain an original ‘wet’ signature.  Signatures may not be scanned, photocopied, stamped, etc.  Applications received after 5:00 p.m. on June 5, 2017 will be returned.  For a list of the additional documents required to make a complete application package, please refer to the CSFP Application Submittal Requirements (PDF).  Application packages may be mailed or hand delivered to the following address:

 

Office of Public School Construction

Subject: CSFP 2017 Filing Round

707 Third Street, 6th Floor

West Sacramento, CA 95605

 

 

If the total valid and complete applications submitted exceed the available $500 million, a preference points system and funding matrix, as provided for by Education Code (EC) Section 17078.56 and School Facility Program (SFP) Regulation Sections 1859.164 and 1859.164.1, will be used to fund the successful applicants.  Information on how preference points are assigned and how projects are ranked can be found in the Preference Points and Funding Matrix Guidelines (PDF).

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR BOTH DEPENDENT CHARTER SCHOOLS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS APPLYING INDEPENDENTLY TO THE CHARTER SCHOOL FACILITIES PROGRAM

 

Prior to submission of the Preliminary Charter School Application for both rehabilitation and new construction projects, School Facility Regulation Section 1859.162(b) requires that a charter school applying on its own behalf notify the school district where the project will be physically located of its intent to apply. This notification must occur at least 30 days prior to the application submittal and evidence of the date the notification was received by the school district must be submitted as part of the Preliminary Charter School Application.


FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS APPLYING INDEPENDENTLY

 

Please note that charter schools must notify the school district that serves the same grade level the charter school project will serve.  The notified school district may not necessarily be the same entity as the authorizing school district.  Multiple school districts, and possibly the County Office of Education, may need to be notified if the project will serve multiple grade levels.


FOR DEPENDENT CHARTER SCHOOLS

 

The school district must be the applicant for a dependent (locally funded) charter school.  However, a school district may not request funding for grade levels it does not serve.  If the dependent charter school project will house grade levels not served by the school district, two applications will need to be submitted: one by the school district for the grade levels it serves and one by the charter school for the additional grade levels.  With the application submitted by the charter school, all requirements when a charter school applies independently will need to be met, including notifying the school district that serves the same grade level as the classrooms in the charter school’s application. 


May 5, 2017 is the last day to notify school districts and be able to submit an application by the June 5, 2017 deadline.  Applications received with notifications to the incorrect school district that are unable to notify the correct school district by May 5, 2017 will not be accepted.  Please take care in ensuring you are notifying the correct school district.  If you need assistance determining which school district to notify, please contact OPSC.


Please note that there are additional requirements when a charter school applies on its own, as provided for in School Facility Program Regulation Sections 1859.162(b), 1859.162.1 and 1859.163.4(d).  To ensure all requirements are met, template school district notification letters have been provided and can be located on the Charter School Facilities Program web page.

 

If you would like additional information, please contact Erin Cunneen at erin.cunneen@dgs.ca.gov, or (916) 375-4741, or Karen Mandell at (916) 376-8959 or karen.mandell@dgs.ca.gov

To request a California Department of Education Recommended Site Size Letter, please contact Lisa Constancio at LConstancio@cde.ca.gov or (916) 445-4889 

Presentations and Webinars

 

Charter School Facilities Program

In 2002, Assembly Bill 14 created the CSFP.  With the passage of Propositions 47, 55, 1D and 51, $1.4 billion has been made available for the new construction of charter school facilities or the rehabilitation of existing school district facilities for charter school use. This program allows charter schools that provide site based instruction to access State facility funding directly or through the school district where the project will be physically located.

The CSFP permits a charter school or school district filing on behalf of a charter to apply for a preliminary apportionment (reservation of bond authority) for new construction projects and rehabilitation of district owned existing facilities that are at least 15-years old. A request to convert a preliminary apportionment to an adjusted grant apportionment meeting all the School Facilities Program criteria must be submitted within a four-year period, unless a single one-year extension is granted.  If the application is successful, the charter school that applies independently would receive the funding. In the event that a school district applies on behalf of a charter school, the district would receive the funding.
For both new construction and rehabilitation projects, the charter must provide a 50 percent matching contribution.  This can come from the charter’s own resources, or it can be borrowed from the state, provided the charter school requested the loan from the state at the preliminary apportionment phase.  Loans are repaid over a period of 30 years starting one year from the date of occupancy.  To qualify for funding, a charter school must be deemed financially sound by the California School Finance Authority (CSFA).  For more information on the financial soundness and/or loan process, please refer to CSFA’s website: http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/csfa/charter.asp


The 
School Facility Program Handbook (PDF) contains detailed information on Charter School Facilities Program Funding in Section 6. The Frequently Asked Questions document (PDF) contains common questions about the Charter School Facilities Program. 

 

 

Final Conversion and Fund Releases

The preliminary apportionment for a CSFP project must be converted within a four-year period to an adjusted grant unfunded approval meeting all the SFP criteria, unless a single one-year extension is granted.

In order to receive a final apportionment from an unfunded approval or receive an advance fund release for design or site acquisition, the applicant must participate in a Priority Funding round and request an apportionment. Applicants must follow the Procedures for SFP Funding (PDF) to receive proceeds from future bond sales.

Presentations and Webinars

Eligibility

The CSFP permits a charter school or school district filing on behalf of a charter to apply for a preliminary apportionment (reservation of bond authority) for new construction projects and rehabilitation of district owned existing facilities that are at least 15-years old. If the application is successful, the charter school that applies independently would receive the funding. In the event that a school district applies on behalf of a charter school, the district would receive the funding. Only a school district that serves the same grade level as the charter school may apply on behalf of the charter school.  It is also important to note that the applicant for the preliminary apportionment must also be the applicant for the loan, if applicable.  

To qualify for funding, a charter school must be deemed financially sound by the California School Finance Authority (CSFA). 

Per EC 17078.53, to be eligible to submit an application for preliminary apportionment, the following must occur:

  • A charter petition has been approved by the appropriate chartering entity prior to the application deadline. 
  • The charter has operated as a charter school in California for a minimum of two years.  For information on this requirement, please refer to the California School Finance Authority Web Page
  • A charter school applying on its own behalf must notify the superintendent and governing board of the district, where it is physically located, of its intent to apply in writing (with proof of delivery) 30 days prior to submitting the preliminary application to OPSC. The notice to the district shall include the number of pupils the charter intends to house, a request that the school district certify to the number of the district’s unhoused pupils that the charter project will house and a request that the district update its new construction eligibility for current enrollment. Eligibility is not required to apply for new construction funding.
  • Prior to the submittal of an application for preliminary apportionment, the school district and charter school have considered existing school district facilities in accordance with EC Section 47614.

It is important to note that if your application is successful and you are awarded a preliminary apportionment, before you can receive funding, the charter school will need to execute the Charter School Agreements.  These are the Memorandum of Understanding, Funding Agreement (if requesting a loan) and Use Agreement (if the district holds title).  For more information about the Charter School Agreements, please refer to the CSFA website:  http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/csfa/charter.asp

Additionally, EC Section 17078.63 requires, prior to the release of funds for site acquisition or new construction funding, that the applicant show documentary evidence that title to the site and facilities is held by either the school district in which the charter school project is located, or a local governmental entity.   EC also provides the option for the charter school to request to hold fee simple title to the site and facilities in trust for the benefit of the state public school system.  The request must be approved by the SAB.  If approved, the following must be recorded on the title:

  • A lien for the total amount of funding received from the state. 
  • A restrictive covenant specifying that the facility shall be used for public school purposes.
  • A remainder interest to a successor charter school and then school district should the site and facilities no longer be needed for charter school purposes.   

Funding

Preliminary Apportionments

To apply for a preliminary apportionment (reservation of bond authority), an applicant must submit a complete and valid Application for Charter School Preliminary Apportionment (Form SAB 50-09) during a specified filing round.  Applications may be submitted by a charter school or school district filing on behalf of a charter.  

 

Final Apportionments

A request to convert a preliminary apportionment to an adjusted grant apportionment meeting all the School Facility Program criteria must be submitted within a four-year period,, unless a single one-year extension is granted.

Converting a Preliminary Apportionment to a Final Apportionment (link)

 

The Architect’s Submittal Guidelines and the Presentation on Additional Grant for Site Development Costs contain detailed information for school districts and architects to prepare project plans, specifications, and cost estimates for project applications.

Please note: CSFP projects may be subject to 
Prevailing Wage Monitoring/Labor Compliance Program requirements.

 

An update has been made to the Project Tracking Number (PTN) Generator Website (link). Instead of using residing district passwords, the new system allows the use of project specific passwords to create a PTN for CSFP projects.  You can login to the PTN database and create a PTN by following this link: https://www.dgsapps2.dgs.ca.gov/OPSC/PT/Login.aspx

 

Please contact the Project Tracking Administrator if you have any questions regarding your user account.

Fiscal Reporting

The SFP Compliance Review page contains detailed information on compliance review requirements, including substantial progress and expenditure reporting.

Contacts

For assistance, please contact: