September 26, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced he has signed SB 658 by Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) and AB 2033 by Speaker Emeritus Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), which will expand opportunities for charter schools to open in California.
“Funding and having access to affordable and adequate school facilities are some of the greatest challenges facing charter schools and their operators,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “The measures I signed today will help reduce these burdens and expand opportunities for charter schools to open in California.”
SB 658 sunsets the Year-Round School Grant Program and requires the funds -totaling over $90 million – be reallocated to the Charter School Facility Grant Program.
AB 2033 will lower the interest rate for lease payments on approved charter school facility projects. These interest rates are set by the California School Finance Authority (CSFA).
The Governor also vetoed AB 2115 by Assemblymember Gene Mullin (D-South San Francisco), which would create state mandated costs for and run counter to the intent of charter schools. Please see the attached veto message.
Additionally, the Governor’s record on charter schools has included:
- In September 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 20, which appropriated $18 million in Proposition 98 funding to the Charter School Facility Grant Program. The Charter School Facility Grant Program provides assistance with facilities rent and lease costs for charter schools located in low-income communities.
- In May 2006, the Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan provided a record $500 million for charter school facilities. This is the largest state bond funding for charter school facilities in California history. The bond’s requirements limit the reduction of school district eligibility when new charter facility construction is authorized, and requires school districts to consider existing surplus facilities in accordance with current law.
- In September 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2717 allowing the California School Finance Authority to provide tax-exempt, low cost financing to charter schools for use in the construction, repair, or lease of school facilities.
- In September 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 319 by Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) which modified the allocation of general-purpose funding for charter schools that operate within school districts. The bill removed fiscal obstacles that unified school districts face in approving charter schools.