Statewide school facilities bond stalled until 2024
At the end of the 2023 legislative session the Governor, concerned about a crowded March 2024 ballot, negotiated a deal with the Legislature that cleared a path for Proposition 1, the Behavioral Health Services Act, to be the only issue before voters on that ballot. The reforms and funding are a Newsom priority that would overhaul California’s nearly 20- year-old Mental Health Services Act. This deal meant that all conversations about reconciling the two school bond bills will have to wait until 2024. Currently, both school facilities bonds [AB 247 by Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D- Torrance) and SB 28 by Senator Steven Glazer (D-Orinda)] are two-year bills and can be taken up next year.
As a refresher, AB 247, the Transitional Kindergarten Through Community College Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2024, is a $14 billion bond that includes specific funding for small school districts, expands the financial hardship threshold and provides the State Allocation Board discretion to more swiftly assist school districts impacted by natural disasters.
The Senate’s version, SB 28, the Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2024, is a $15 billion bond that includes funding for CSU and UC making it almost identical to Prop 13, which was voted down by voters in March 2020. As currently drafted, SB 28 would provide $9 billion for preschool to grade 12 school facilities leaving the remaining $6 billion for higher education facilities divided among each of the three segments.
Ultimately, the Newsom Administration has the next move in deciding when to engage with the Legislature to reconcile both proposals and find a path forward sometime after members return to Sacramento in early January. However, time is limited given a school facilities bond bill must be approved prior to June 27, 2024 (or 131 days prior to the general election) to qualify for the November 2024 ballot.
As a reminder, the 2023-24 state budget provided $2 billion in General Fund money to support the School Facilities Program while a longer-term bond solution is deliberated.
Begin Planning for All-Gender Restrooms on Campus
SB 760, carried by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), requires, by July 1, 2026, each school site serving students in grades 1 through 12 that has more than one female restroom and more than one male restroom to provide and maintain at least one all-gender restroom for voluntary student use. The bill also requires each LEA to designate a staff member to serve as a point of contact for these requirements and post related notices outside all-gender bathrooms. Senator Newman accepted an important amendment for school sites that do not have more than one female restroom and more than one male restroom for students so that those smaller districts would not be out of compliance with the law. Specifically, for schools that do not have more than one female and more than one male restroom, if the LEA applies for state funding for a school modernization project after July 1, 2026, the application must include an all- gender restroom designed for student use at each school site serving grades 1 through 12.
The Governor signed the following facilities bills:
- AB 70 (Rodriguez) – Emergency response: trauma kits
Current law requires the person or entity responsible for managing the building, facility, and tenants of certain occupied structures, including schools with occupancy above 200, and that are constructed on or after January 1, 2023, to comply with certain requirements, including acquiring and placing at least 6 trauma kits on the premises. This bill extends the trauma kit requirement to the same structures if they were constructed prior to January 1, 2023, and modified, renovated, or tenant improved subsequent to that date. The bill defines “modified, renovated, or tenant improved” as when a structure has been subject to $100,000 of tenant improvements in one calendar year, $100,000 of building renovations in one calendar year, or any tenant improvement for places of assembly, including auditoriums and performing arts theaters.
Chapter 515, Statutes of 2023
- AB 480 (Ting) – Surplus land
Current law prescribes requirements for the disposal of surplus land by a local agency and requires a local agency disposing of surplus land to comply with certain notice requirements before disposing of the land or participating in negotiations to dispose of the land with a prospective transferee, particularly that the local agency send a notice of availability to specified entities that have notified the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) of their interest in surplus land. This bill defines the term “dispose” to mean the sale of the surplus property or a lease of any surplus property entered into on or after January 1, 2024, for a term longer than 15 years, including renewal options. This bill provides that “dispose” does not include entering a lease for surplus land on which no development or demolition will occur, regardless of the term of the lease.
Chapter 788, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1433 (Rendon) – Public contracts: school facility projects
Current law requires a prospective bidder for a construction contract for certain school facility projects to submit a prequalification questionnaire and financial statement, under oath, as part of the bidding process, and requires each prospective bidder to submit a bid by completing and executing a standardized proposal form. Previously applicable to only public projects for which the governing board of the school district uses funds received pursuant to specified law or from future state school bonds, this bill extends these requirements to public projects for which the governing board of the school district uses state general funds.
Chapter 581, Statutes of 2023
- SB 229 (Umberg) – Surplus land: disposal of property: violations: public meeting
SB 229 requires a local agency that is disposing of surplus land and has received a notification of violation from the DHCD to hold an open and public meeting to review and consider the substance of the notice of violation. The bill prohibits the local agency’s governing body from taking final action to ratify or approve the proposed disposal of surplus land until a public meeting is held as required. The bill also exempts from its provisions a local agency that ceases to dispose of surplus land after receiving the notice of violation.
Chapter 774, Statutes of 2023
- SB 515 (Stern) – School facilities: shade structures
The Field Act requires the Department of General Services under the police power of the state to supervise the design and construction of any school building or the reconstruction or alteration of or addition to any school building to ensure that plans and specifications comply with adopted rules and regulations and building standards published in regulations. SB 515 limits the cost of complying with the requirement to provide an accessible path of travel to a free- standing, open-sided shade structure project that meets specified requirements and that is on a school district, county office of education (COE), charter school, or community college campus to 20% of the adjusted construction cost of the shade structure project.
Chapter 489, Statutes of 2023
- SB 760 (Newman) – School facilities: all-gender restrooms
This bill requires, on or before July 1, 2026, each school district, COE, and charter school, including charter schools operating in a school district facility, maintaining any combination of classes from grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to provide and maintain at least one all-gender restroom for voluntary pupil use at each of its schoolsites. The bill exempts from this requirement a schoolsite that has only one female bathroom and one male bathroom. The bill also requires the all- gender restroom to meet certain requirements, including, that it has signage identifying the bathroom facility as being open to all genders and is unlocked, unobstructed, and easily accessible by any pupil.
Chapter 227, Statutes of 2023
Capitol Advisors Group has produced a set of comprehensive client briefs detailing new education laws that were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2023. Each brief is organized by subject area and includes an executive summary highlighting major changes we think you should know about. Bills signed by the Governor take effect on January 1, 2024, unless the bill specifically states otherwise.
- Posted by CCIS
- On December 27, 2023