During his testimony April 29 regarding OSFC’s Budget Request, Executive Director Richard Hickman said that since the commission was created at the end of 1997, OSFC has worked with school districts to provide 789 new or renovated schools in 253 districts. In 193 of those districts, all of the construction or renovations are complete, serving more than 439,000 school children.
He said they are currently working with 155 districts in the planning phase and an additional 108 districts have
raised their local share and are actively involved in project design and construction.
In answer to a question from Carey, he said they have worked their way up the list of eligible schools to the point
that projects are now approximately 60 percent district funded and 40 percent state funded. He added that 100
districts have deferred entry into the program or the time has lapsed due to an inability to raise the local share.
He said their budget request is $8.95 million in FY12 and $8.55 million in FY13. “The source of funding for these
operating expenses is interest earnings and transfer from the commission’s capital funds — not the General
Revenue Fund.” He said the budget is less than one percent of the capital funding it oversees.
Hickman said they will have completed disbursing the tobacco securitization funds by September 2011.
Again, in answer to a question from Carey, he confirmed that their funding normally comes from the capital bill but
there hasn’t been one. He agreed that the tobacco money was intended to be supplemental not replacement for
the capital appropriation funding.
Carey also asked if the commission had any language changes in the budget with Hickman highlighting the major
changes including giving districts 13 months instead of 12 months to raise local funding; and a correction action
Rep. Phillips asked about the impact of the TPPT changes on the equity list and state share and Hickman said they
were still studying that. Phillips also questioned changing the corrective action grants availability from five years
after closeout to three years after occupancy. Hickman said they are trying to spur the local districts to do better
maintenance and to stay on top of potential problems, noting that the longer a problem is allowed to go, the more
expensive it is to fix.
Phillips also asked about what they are doing about projects that have already been bid including PLAs. He said
they are looking at them on a case-by-case basis and that a recent one was allowed to proceed. This applies to
prevailing wage and to model responsibility provisions.
Lundy asked why a community school loan guarantee program was zeroed out with Hickman saying OBM did that.
Lundy added “it’s fine with me if it stays at zero.”
There were also questions about transparency and the ability for more local businesses to bid on items for schools,
such as furniture.
Hickman also said that the construction is underway on the dorms at the schools for the blind and deaf and he
hopes construction is underway by year’s end on the schools.