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Ltr-09: SSDCOEBR

Letter Head: Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

September 16, 2009

Dear County Superintendents of Schools and Chief Business Officials:

SMALL SCHOOL DISTRICT AND COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION
BUS REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
FISCAL YEAR 2009-10

The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce that $4,878,000 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 Senate Bill 1 of the Third Extraordinary Session, Chapter 1, Statutes of 2009, as amended by Section 559 of Assembly Bill 1 of the Fourth Extraordinary Session, Chapter 1, Statutes of 2009. 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. To aid in the distribution, the CDE is sending to county office staff via the “cdefisc” mailbox a link to this letter and referenced documents. The county offices that have not established a “cdefisc” e-mail address will not receive the e-mail. To inquire about establishing a “cdefisc” mailbox, please contact Marcie Gregory at 916-324-4537 or by e-mail at mgregory@cde.ca.gov [Note, the preceding contact information is no longer valid and has been replaced by Shannon Reel, Fiscal Analyst, Categorical Allocations & Management Assistance Unit, at 916-319-0323 or by e-mail at sreel@cde.ca.gov.]

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In order to be considered for funding, applications for bus replacement must be postmarked by January 15, 2010. Any applications postmarked after January 15, 2010, will not be accepted. Local educational agencies (LEAs) including direct-funded charter schools are encouraged to send applications by overnight mail to confirm receipt. Alternatively, LEAs 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.

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 LEAs including 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.

By March 1, 2010, awards will be posted on the CDE Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/smallschdistcoebus.asp. Please select the link for the 2009 funding results.

The CDE has increased the maximum award to $145,000 and changed the way final awards will be made. Recipients will be required to submit a minimum of two written quotes from two different companies and submit them to the CDE by April 30, 2010. Any agency that fails to do so by the deadline will forfeit their award. Awarded agencies will also need to submit an inventory of their school bus fleet on a Form J-143, Report of School Buses, electronically in Excel format to cschlueter@cde.ca.gov [Note, the preceding contact information is no longer valid.] by the April 30, 2010 deadline.

Funds will be distributed to successful applicants in two payments. The first payment, equal to 25 percent of the award, will be distributed by July 16, 2010. 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 page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/smallschdistcoebus.asp. Please select “Small School District and County Office of Education – 2009 Request for Applications” under “Other Fiscal Information” for Fiscal Year 2009-10. Please review the information carefully as changes have been made from prior years.

If you have any questions, please contact Christina Schlueter, Fiscal Analyst, at 916-324-9806 or by e-mail at cschlueter@cde.ca.gov [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 tholmes@cde.ca.gov.].

Sincerely,

 

Scott Hannan, Director
School Fiscal Services Division

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