October 7, 2008
Dear County Superintendents of Schools and County Chief Business Officials:
The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce that $6,086,000 is available by application under the Small School District and County Office of Education Bus Replacement Program to replace older school buses that are owned by small school districts, county offices of education, and direct-funded charter schools. These funds are appropriated in Schedule (2) of Item 6110-111-0001 of the Budget Act of 2008. For the purposes of this program, a small school district, county office of education or direct-funded charter school is one with prior year average daily attendance of less than 2,501.
County offices of education are requested to forward a copy of this letter to the small school districts and direct-funded charter schools in their counties in order to inform them of this funding opportunity. Toward that end, the CDE is sending to county chief business officials by e-mail attachment a copy of this letter.
Consistent with the provisions of current law, funds are available on a first priority basis to replace school buses that do not conform to federal safety standards. In 1992, federal safety standard 131 was adopted relating to school bus pedestrian safety devices. As such, eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) and direct-funded charter schools may apply for funds to replace buses manufactured prior to 1992.
As required by law, funds for bus replacement have been set aside and applications will be ranked based on the age, mileage, vehicle type, and condition of the buses that are proposed for replacement. If funds remain after all eligible bus replacement applications are funded, the remaining funds will be made available, through a separate application process, for the second and third priorities identified in statute, which are bus reconditioning and fleet expansion. Anticipating that applications for bus replacement will exceed the funds available, at this time, the CDE is accepting applications only for bus replacement and not for either bus reconditioning or fleet expansion.
In order to be considered for funding, applications for bus replacement must be postmarked by January 30, 2009. Any applications postmarked after January 30, 2009, will not be accepted. LEAs and charter schools are encouraged to send applications by certified mail to confirm receipt. Alternatively, LEAs and charter schools may send an e-mail to the contact person listed in the application instructions to request confirmation that their applications were received. Please allow two business days for a response.
By March 16, 2009, awards will be posted on the CDE Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/smallschdistcoebus.asp. Once there, please select the link for the 2008 funding results.
Funds will be distributed to successful applicants in two payments. The first payment, equal to 25 percent of the award, will be distributed by May 15, 2009. The second payment will be made after the successful applicant purchases a new bus, disposes the old bus, and submits a completed Request for Final Apportionment (Form CDE-103).
An eligible LEA or direct-funded charter school may apply for funds to replace only one bus. To find the Application for Bus Replacement Funding (Form CDE-100), application instructions and checklist, Request for Final Apportionment (Form CDE-103) and instructions, and Program Information Manual containing detailed information about the program, please visit the CDE Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/smallschdistcoebus.asp. From there, please select “Small School District and County Office of Education – 2008 Request for Applications” under “Other Fiscal Information” for Fiscal Year 2008-09.
If you have any questions, please contact
Christina Schlueter, Fiscal Analyst, at 916-324-9806 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org [Note, the preceding contact information is no longer valid and has been replaced by Tonya Holmes, Fiscal Analyst, Categorical Allocations & Management Assistance Unit, by phone at 916-323-6028 or by e-mail at email@example.com.].
Scott Hannan, Director
School Fiscal Services Division