In recognition of her advocacy for better schools and increased accountability for taxpayers, Senator Janet Nguyen is proud to announce her appointment to the State Allocation Board (SAB). This State Board is responsible for determining the allocation of state resources used for the new construction and modernization of local public school facilities. As a member of the SAB, Senator Nguyen will work to appropriate $7 billion in bond money to K-12 schools across the State of California, funds which were approved by voters in November 2016 with the passage of Proposition 51.
“California students should be given an opportunity to learn in classrooms that are both modern and safe. Unfortunately, many of the schools in my district and throughout the State are in need of modernization funding to improve classroom conditions for students,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “I am honored to have been appointed by the Senate Rules Committee to serve on the State Allocation Board where I can help address these problems by allocating funds to create a better learning environment for our children.”
Specifically, the bond monies approved by Prop 51 can be used for buying land, constructing new buildings, and renovating existing buildings. Schools may also be eligible for new construction funding if they do not have enough space for all current and projected students and are eligible for modernization funding for buildings that are at least 25 years old.
As a member of the SAB, Senator Nguyen hopes to enhance accountability measures to ensure that funds are spent appropriately. In his January state budget proposal, Governor Brown similarly expressed an interest in addressing some of the shortcomings within the existing state allocation program. These concerns were recently documented in the audit findings issued by the Office of State Audits and Evaluations in a 2016 audit of Proposition 1D School Facilities Program expenditures. In that audit, it was determined that 1,533 projects representing over $3 billion in Proposition 1D funds had been completed without ensuring the bond funds were appropriately expended. The audit also found instances in which school districts inappropriately used school facilities bond funding to purchase vehicles, tractors, tablets, golf carts, mascot uniforms, and custodial/ cleaning supplies.
“State taxpayers need to be assured that school bonds are being spent on long term assets that justify bonding expenses, and that independent audits are in place to identify waste or abuse,” Senator Janet Nguyen said. “I look forward to working with the Governor and other members of the SAB on legislation to ensure that Proposition 51 dollars are spent on classrooms, not cleaning supplies.”
The State Allocation Board is comprised of 10 members: 3 appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, 3 appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one member appointed by the Governor, the Director of the State Department of Finance, the Director of the State Department of General Services, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Senator Nguyen will be serving on the SAB with her colleagues, Senators Ben Allen and Richard Pan who were also appointed by the Senate Rules Committee today.