Los Angeles Schools Wants Some Of New Voter Approved Bond Money

Los Angeles Schools Wants Some Of New Voter Approved Bond Money



Currently,​ the​ Los Angeles schools have $20 billion in​ construction and renovation projects for Los Angeles schools’ facilities underway or​ planned. Unfortunately,​ the​ Los Angeles schools’ officials expect a​ funding shortfall from known resources and are looking to​ the​ state legislature for a​ solution.

According to​ Los Angeles schools’ chief facilities executive,​ Guy Mehula,​ the​ Los Angeles schools have identified all but approximately $1.6 billion in​ funding sources for the​ building projects. There is​ enough money to​ complete construction already in​ progress,​ but not for the​ planned future construction of​ projected needs for the​ Los Angeles schools in​ 2009 and 2010.

The Los Angeles schools have hit a​ brick wall with the​ state funding guidelines,​ which use exaggerated long-term enrollment trends for eligibility requirements. Since the​ Los Angeles schools’ enrollment is​ projected to​ continue to​ decline in​ future years,​ they are ineligible for hundreds of​ millions of​ dollars in​ school construction funding from the​ state.

Though the​ Los Angeles schools believe the​ formula is​ unfair,​ state officials contend that the​ Los Angeles schools should have built needed facilities while they were in​ a​ growth cycle and that formulas used in​ other state funding programs have benefited the​ Los Angeles schools. Kathy Hicks,​ chief of​ program services for the​ state Office of​ Public School Construction,​ stated that if​ the​ Los Angeles schools had their construction projects ready back when they were in​ a​ growth cycle,​ they would have had the​ funding at​ that time.

In November 2006,​ however,​ the​ voters approved $43 billion in​ bonds. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans another $29 billion in​ general obligation bonds to​ be submitted to​ voters in​ 2008 and 2010,​ along with $14 billion in​ other bonds that do not require voter approval.

Under the​ governor’s Strategic Growth Plan,​ there will be a​ $211 billion investment in​ the​ state’s infrastructure over the​ next ten years. in​ 2008 and 2010,​ he plans to​ submit almost $12 billion in​ bonds for kindergarten through 12th grade education. the​ Los Angeles schools are aggressively campaigning to​ secure part of​ these funds.

The State Allocation Board,​ which distributes funds to​ the​ various school districts across the​ state,​ is​ reviewing a​ backlog of​ $318 million in​ construction and renovation projects. These are school district projects that already had been approved before the​ state ran out of​ previous funding. After the​ portion for schools of​ this new bond money is​ received,​ these previous projects have been reviewed,​ and disbursement to​ eligible projects within the​ backlog has been completed,​ the​ board then will approve new projects on​ a​ first-come,​ first-served basis for eligible districts. They generally approve about $102 million in​ new construction and $83 million in​ renovation projects each month,​ according to​ Hicks.

Unfortunately for the​ Los Angeles schools,​ they are ineligible for any further funding from the​ State Allocation Board,​ under the​ current funding guidelines. the​ Los Angeles schools are looking to​ the​ legislature to​ change the​ status quo on​ school construction funding to​ cover their needs in​ 2009 and 2010.




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