BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Alan Lowenthal, Chair 2011-2012 Regular Session BILL NO: SB 132 AUTHOR: Lowenthal AMENDED: April 27, 2011 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: May 4, 2011 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Kathleen Chavira SUBJECT : School facilities and state planning priorities. SUMMARY This bill requires the State Allocation Board (SAB) to review and revise, as necessary, its guideline, rules, regulations, procedures, and policies, and the California Department of Education (CDE) to modify site, building, and design standards to ensure that K-12 school facility construction projects reflect the state planning priorities, and makes other conforming changes. BACKGROUND Current law (Government Code Section 65041.1) establishes state planning priorities intended to promote equity, strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and promote public health and safety in the state. The specific priorities are to: Promote infill development and equity by rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving existing infrastructure that supports infill development and appropriate reuse and redevelopment of previously developed, underutilized land that is presently served by transit, streets, water, sewer, and other essential services, particularly in underserved areas, and to preserving cultural and historic resources. Protect environmental and agricultural resources by protecting, preserving, and enhancing the state's most valuable natural resources, including working landscapes such as farm, range, and forest lands, natural lands such SB 132 Page 2 as wetlands, watersheds, wildlife habitats, and other wildlands, recreation lands such as parks, trails, greenbelts, and other open space, and landscapes with locally unique features and areas identified by the state as deserving special protection. Encourage efficient development patterns by ensuring that infrastructure: o Uses land efficiently. o Is built adjacent to existing developed areas. o Is located in an area appropriately planned for growth. o Is served by adequate transportation and other essential utilities and services. o Minimizes ongoing costs to taxpayers. Current law also requires the Governor, in conjunction with the annual budget, to submit a proposed five-year infrastructure plan to the Legislature and specifies that such a plan identify new, rehabilitated, modernized, improved, or renovated infrastructure requested by state agencies. Among other things, the report must also include the criteria and priorities used to identify and select state agency requested infrastructure (which must be consistent with state planning priorities) that it proposes to fund. (Government Code § 13100-13104) Current law requires the CDE to, among other things, develop standards for site selection and establish standards to ensure that design and construction of school facilities are educationally appropriate and promote school safety. Current law prohibits the apportionment of funds to school districts for school construction projects unless, among other things, the school district has obtained written approval of the CDE that site selection and building plans and specifications comply with the adopted standards. (Education Code § 17251) Current law also requires that, prior to commencing acquisition of property for a new schoolsite or as an addition to an existing schoolsite, the local school district governing board must, at a public hearing, evaluate the property using the site selection standards established by the California Department of Education. SB 132 Page 3 (Education Code § 17211) ANALYSIS This bill : 1) Requires that, by July 1, 2012, the State Allocation Board review and revise, as necessary, its guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures and policies for school construction and modernization to ensure that they reflect specified state planning priorities. (Government Code § 65041.1) 2) Requires that, prior to commencing acquisition of real property for a new school site or adding to an existing schoolsite, the local school district governing board consider whether the new site or addition reflect the state planning priorities. 3) Requires that the CDE developed standards for site selection, design and construction for use by school districts reflect the state planning priorities. 4) Expands the content of the five year infrastructure plan, which the Governor is required to submit to the Legislature annually, to include criteria and priorities used to identify and select infrastructure the Governor proposes to fund for purposes of K-12 infrastructure needs. 5) Makes other technical and conforming changes. 6) Makes related findings and declarations. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Need for the bill . According to the author, school quality and location affects local land use and transportation patterns, community vitality, economic development and student outcomes. Unfortunately, schools are typically absent from sustainability-oriented infrastructure and policy discussions. Many state school facility policies are not structured to support broader sustainable development objectives. This bill will ensure the state's school facility construction investment SB 132 Page 4 reflects the state planning priorities. 2) Changes midstream ? This bill requires the SAB to review and revise, as necessary, guidelines, rules, regulations procedures, and policies for school construction and modernization by July 1 2012. There are currently a number of school facility construction projects "in the pipeline" awaiting funding from the sale of currently authorized bonds. Is it the intent that changes to policies guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures and policies impact these projects? Should implementation of any changes be applicable to new projects only? 3) Authority to select infrastructure projects . This bill expands the contents of the five year infrastructure plan, which the Governor is required to submit to the Legislature annually, to include criteria and priorities used to identify and select infrastructure the Governor proposes to fund for purposes of K-12 infrastructure needs. Traditionally, the Governor has played a role in identifying broad funding needs and in shaping programs that meet specific policy objectives such as the provision of career technical education facilities and charter school facilities. However, the Governor does not have the ability to identify and select which K-12 infrastructure projects are to be funded, as this authority rests with the State Allocation Board and the California Department of Education, two entities that act independent of the Governor. Staff recommends that Section 4 of the bill be amended to restore current law. Staff further recommends the bill be amended to require that the infrastructure report include information on the criteria that the CDE and SAB use, consistent with the state planning priorities, to identify K-12 infrastructure projects to be funded. SUPPORT California Advocacy Committee of the United States Green Building Council SB 132 Page 5 California Farm Bureau Federation Los Angeles Unified School District Natural Resources Defense Council OPPOSITION None received on this version.