$20M More for School Construction Program

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee has added $20 million to the budget of the Public School Construction Program towards a program for counties with increasing enrollment or a high number of relocatable classrooms. Legislation that would allocate the funding is also advancing in the General Assembly.

If the budget provision stays in and the legislation passes, $40M of capital funding would be dedicated to provide additional support to counties that meet certain increasing enrollment or relocatable classroom thresholds in 2017.

SB 271 Capital Grant Program for Local School Systems With Significant Enrollment Growth or Relocatable Classrooms – Funding, received a favorable report from the Budget and Taxation Committee. The crossfile, HB 722, has not yet been moved.

As described by the Department of Legislative Services,

This bill increases from $20.0 million to $40.0 million the amount that the Governor is required to include in the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the Capital Grant Program for Local School Systems with Significant Enrollment Growth or Relocatable Classrooms.

The original $20M program was started in the 2016 budget, providing that aid to counties with full-time equivalent enrollment growth that exceeds 150% of the statewide average over the past five years or an average of at least 300 relocatable classrooms over the past five years. The funding was distributed proportionate to each system’s share of total enrollment.

The Governor already provided $20M towards this purpose in his 2017 budget proposal. The Department of Legislative Services provides this estimate of how the $40M would be distributed:

Screenshot 2016-03-18 09.37.41

For more information, see  this page of the Capital Budget Decision Document, the legislation, and the fiscal note.