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

October 29, 2010

Dear County Superintendents of Schools and Chief Business Officials:


The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce that $4,880,000 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 Item 6110-111-0001, Schedule (2) and reduced pursuant to Control Section 12.42 of the Budget Act of 2010. 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 (ADA) of less than 2,501. 

Beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, letters and any referenced materials from the CDE are no longer being mailed to the county superintendents of schools. Accordingly, the CDE has sent an e-mail to each county superintendent, addressed to the county’s CDEfisc e-mail address, to inform him or her of this letter and referenced documents. The e-mail contained a link to the CDE Categorical Programs Web page at where, under the program name, the link to the letter and referenced documents are posted. The CDE requested that the e‑mail be forwarded to all small school districts and direct-funded charter schools in your county whose prior year ADA is less than 2,501 units.

In order to be considered for funding, applications for bus replacement must be postmarked by January 14, 2011. Any applications postmarked after January 14, 2011, 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, 2011, awards will be posted on the CDE Web page at Please select the link for the 2010 funding results.

The CDE has increased the maximum award to $155,000. Recipients will be required to submit a minimum of two written quotes from two different companies and submit them to the CDE by April 29, 2011. Any agency that fails to do so by the deadline will forfeit their award.

Funds will be distributed to successful applicants in two payments. The first payment, equal to 25 percent of the award, will be distributed by June 24, 2011. 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 Please select “Small School District and County Office of Education – 2010 Request for Applications” under “Other Fiscal Information” for Fiscal Year 2010-11. Please review the information carefully as changes have been made from prior years.

If you have any questions, please contact Christina Schlueter, Fiscal Assistant, by phone at 916-324-9806 or by e-mail at [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].


Scott Hannan, Director
School Fiscal Services Division

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