ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2631



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Peery, Brough, H. Sommers, Neher, Sheldon, Roland, Valle, Paris, Pruitt, Mitchell, Prentice, Betrozoff, Rasmussen, P. Johnson and J. Kohl)


Read first time 02/03/92.  Changing school construction financing.

     AN ACT Relating to school construction funding; amending RCW 28A.525.162; and creating new sections.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that the number of students attending our public K-12 schools has grown significantly in recent years, and that this enrollment growth is projected to continue in the years ahead.  The legislature further finds that the availability of funds from the common school construction fund, which has historically been the primary source of capital for new school construction, has been substantially reduced because of reductions in timber harvesting from state-owned lands.  The legislature further finds that this increase in demand for new school construction and the reduction in available school construction funds make it imperative that measures be taken to use our existing school buildings more efficiently before allocating state funds for the construction of new schools.


     Sec. 2.  RCW 28A.525.162 and 1990 c 33 s 455 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) Funds appropriated to the state board of education ((from the common school construction fund)) for modernization and construction of school facilities shall be allotted by the state board of education in accordance with student enrollment and the provisions of RCW 28A.525.200.

     (2) No allotment shall be made to a school district until such district has provided matching funds equal to or greater than the difference between the total approved project cost and the amount of state assistance to the district for financing the project computed pursuant to RCW 28A.525.166, with the following exceptions:

     (a) The state board may waive the matching requirement for districts which have provided funds for school building construction purposes through the authorization of bonds or through the authorization of excess tax levies or both in an amount equivalent to two and one-half percent of the value of its taxable property, as defined in RCW 39.36.015.

     (b) No such matching funds shall be required as a condition to the allotment of funds for the purpose of making major or minor structural changes to existing school facilities in order to bring such facilities into compliance with the handicapped access requirements of section 504 of the federal rehabilitation act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 706) and rules implementing the act.

     (3) For the purpose of computing the state matching percentage under RCW 28A.525.166 when a school district is granted authority to enter into contracts, adjusted valuation per pupil shall be calculated using headcount student enrollments from the most recent October enrollment reports submitted by districts to the superintendent of public instruction, adjusted as follows:

     (a) In the case of projects for which local bonds were approved after May 11, 1989:

     (i) For districts which have been designated as serving high school districts under RCW 28A.540.110, students residing in the nonhigh district so designating shall be excluded from the enrollment count if the student is enrolled in any grade level not offered by the nonhigh district;

     (ii) The enrollment of nonhigh school districts shall be increased by the number of students residing within the district who are enrolled in a serving high school district so designated by the nonhigh school district under RCW 28A.540.110, including only students who are enrolled in grade levels not offered by the nonhigh school district; and

     (iii) The number of preschool handicapped students included in the enrollment count shall be multiplied by one-half;

     (b) In the case of construction or modernization of high school facilities in districts serving students from nonhigh school districts, the adjusted valuation per pupil shall be computed using the combined adjusted valuations and enrollments of each district, each weighted by the percentage of the district's resident high school students served by the high school district; and

     (c) The number of kindergarten students included in the enrollment count shall be multiplied by one-half.

     (4) Funds appropriated to the state board of education for modernization and construction of school facilities shall be allocated to school districts on the basis of a priority system adopted by the board.  In allocating funds in fiscal year 1994 and thereafter, for the construction of new school facilities to meet enrollment growth, priority shall be given to projects in districts that have implemented a modified school calendar or schedule that is designed to increase the pupil capacity of the district's school buildings.  The state board may allocate funds specifically appropriated to the board for financial assistance to school districts for planning and implementing a modified school calendar or schedule.

     (5) The state board of education shall prescribe and make effective such rules and regulations as are necessary to equate insofar as possible the efforts made by school districts to provide capital funds by the means aforesaid.

     (((5))) (6) For the purposes of this section, "preschool handicapped students" means developmentally disabled children of preschool age who are entitled to services under RCW 28A.155.010 through 28A.155.100 and are not included in the kindergarten enrollment count of the district.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.      Before January 15, 1993, the state board of education shall submit to the appropriate committees of the legislature the priority system it plans to use in implementing section 2 of this act.