School Facilities and SB 4
OASBO has recently received a number of questions from members regarding the status of funding for school facilities through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). There has been growing concern over the news that some districts’ facilities projects have been delayed. This is due to the lack of sufficient funds appropriated to the OFCC for the current biennium. It appears that an increasing number of districts have been successful in obtaining voter approval for facilities projects, and the appropriation levels provided through the state’s Capital Budget have not kept up with the increasing demand.
Ohio’s Capital Budget is adopted in the off-year from the GRF operating budget. This means the current biennium for the Capital Budget runs from FY 2019 through FY 2020. However, the OFCC appropriation for the two-year period has essentially already been depleted. There is a legislative proposal (SB 4) which would allow the OFCC to continue to assist districts with facilities projects into FY 2020. Approximately eight school districts that have already passed bond levies and are considered to be “shovel ready” have been put on hold because of the lack of sufficient state funds in the Ohio Facilities Construction budget for the 2019-2020. The following is a description of SB 4:
Senate Bill (SB) 4 – School Facilities Assistance
This bill, jointly sponsored by Senators Michael Rulli (R – Salem) and Kunze (R – Hilliard), would add $100 million to the appropriation for school facilities in the current biennium. Because of the number of districts that have passed local bond levies and are waiting to receive state funds for OFCC projects, the current appropriation level is inadequate, causing significant delays in districts’ facilities projects.
We support the additional appropriation provided for school facilities through SB 4. Also, it is our hope that the line-item appropriation for school facilities in the next Capital Budget (to be adopted in the spring of 2020) will be increased to allow for serving more districts.
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