State Budget 2023-24: More School Facilities Issues

As reported by CASH on Monday June 26, the State Budget 2023-24 includes actions on the California Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, and Full-Day Kindergarten Facilities Grant Program (delay $550 million and extend the time the funds are available for encumbrance or expenditure) and the School Facility Program ($1.96 billion from the General Fund in 2024-25 and intent language for $875 million for 2024-25).

This update highlights other school facilities and maintenance issues not reported previously.

School Water Quality: Lead Testing
AB 102, the budget trailer bill, includes $25 million for the State Water Board for K-12 school water quality testing. This funding is connected to AB 249 (Holden) which proposes to extend the AB 746 water testing policy (community water systems test schools’ potable water) but reduce the threshold for testing from 15 ppb (parts per billion) to 5 ppb, and other changes that will result in more schools being required to test for lead.

Williams Inspections
SB 114, the K-12 education trailer bill, includes updated requirements for the annual Williams inspections completed by county offices of education. Under the current metrics established by AB 599 in 2019, there would have been an estimated tripling of the number of schools to be inspected in FY 2023-24. This is likely due to increased rates of chronic absenteeism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 114 extends the use of the current list of schools to be inspected for an additional two years, through FY 2024-25. A new list will be developed in FY 2024-25 for use beginning in FY 2025-26, with the list updating every three fiscal years thereafter. The list is developed using schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement using Federal standards.

Annual K-12 Audit Guide
SB 114 updates the Annual K-12 Audit Guide to align with a recent court ruling related to the use of project savings. The bill deletes the requirements that the Controller’s audit guide shall include instructions for procedures determining if there are any unspent funds (i.e., savings) for the following projects:

  1. Financial Hardship
  2. Charter School Facilities Program
  3. Career Technical Education Facilities Program


CASH is producing a Web-Shop Briefing, State School Bond 2024, Pre-K Funding, State Budget, Litigation and Related Matters, to be held on Thursday, July 20, where we will discuss these topics in more depth. Please register for the Web-Shop here.

~CASH Staff