ADE Director's Communication Memo Form


Memo Number : COM-07-118

Date Created : 05/03/2007

Attention:

Superintendents
Co-op Directors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: No
   
Section:   Facilities and Transportation - Douglas Eaton, Director
Subject:
Facilities Program Changes Enacted 2007

Regulatory Authority:
Act 989 of 2007

Contact Person:
Doug Eaton

Phone Number:
501-682-4261

E-mail:
doug.eaton@arkansas.gov

Act 989 of the regular session of 2007 amended various Arkansas codes dealing with programs administered by the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation. The amendments will require numerous rules to be changed by the division in order to accurately administer the programs. Until such time as the rules are changed the following highlights are extracted from the act for the reader's information.

1. The act repealed Ark. Code Ann. 6-2-1406.
2. The act defines a self-funded project and establishes the requirement for a master plan appendix to be submitted if a school district begins a project not identified on the district's most current master plan.
3. The act clarifies the issues dealing with bonded debt assistance.
4. The act establishes a closing date for the Academic Facilities Immediate Repair program of January 01, 2008. On that date any Immediate Repair projects not completed and financially closed out will have the funds withdrawn.
5. The act established a closing date for the Transitional Academic Facilities Program of July 01, 2009. On that date any Transitional projects not completed and financially closed out will have the funds withdrawn.
6. The act requires districts to submit a detailed narrative, description, and justification in Partnership Program project applications.
7. The act clarifies that the amount of state financial participation in the Partnership Program is limited to the amount resulting from the Academic Facilities wealth index to the project cost necessary to bring the academic facility into compliance with the Arkansas Public School Academic Facility Manual.
8. The act establishes the minimum qualifying cost for a Partnership Project as being $150,000.00 or $300.00 per student, whichever is less.
9. The act clarifies the definition of state assistance under the Catastrophic Program.
10. The act clarifies when the Division shall determine the basis of state financial participation.
11. The act establishes a procedure for district project reviews with the division beginning February 2008.
12. The act establishes that the division will develop a statewide facility needs priority list and prioritize the state school district facilities and require school districts to consider the state priorities in formulating master plans.
13. The act eliminates the requirement for a district plan for care and maintenance of technology systems, instructional materials, and academic equipment.
14. The act clarifies when a school district may amend a ten year facilities master plan and establishes the criteria for this amendment.
15. The act adds to the criteria for considering a district to be in facility distress if that district fails to plan and progress satisfactorily toward accomplishing the priorities established by the division and the approved master plan.

The Division will be amending the rules and will notify school districts and the general public when the rules are available for public comment.

Attachments:
    None

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