Title 17. Education
Chapter 1. General School Law
Part II. Parish School Boards
Subpart B. Powers and Duties of School Boards and Parish Superintendents
17:100.11 School facilities preservation; certain districts
A. (1) There is hereby established for each school district as defined in Subsection I of this Section a school facilities preservation program. The program shall be funded, structured, and operated as provided in this Section and policies adopted by the school board in accordance with this Section.
(2) Proceeds of the following taxes, hereafter referred to in this Section as “facility funds”, shall be used to fund the school facilities preservation program:
(a) The proceeds of local sales taxes at a rate of thirteen-hundredths percent. However, from these proceeds the school board shall fulfill the obligation required by R.S. 17:3995(A)(1)(c) and shall continue to make payments for school facility debt that existed on July 1, 2014, until the debt is fully paid. Upon payment of such debt, all of the proceeds of the local sales tax dedicated by this Subparagraph, except for the portion used to fulfill the obligation required by R.S. 17:3995(A)(1)(c), shall be used for purposes of this Section.
(b) The proceeds from property taxes dedicated to capital outlay and authorized by voters after July 1, 2014, to support the purposes of this Section.
(3) The proceeds of property taxes dedicated by voters for payment of bonds held by the school board and in existence as of July 1, 2014, shall not be considered and not otherwise administered as facility funds under the provisions of this Section. Additionally, the school board shall not refinance bonds that are outstanding on July 1, 2014, nor shall it take any action that would delay the retirement of such bonds. It is the intention of this Paragraph that such bonds be paid in full no later than the dates specified by the payment schedule in existence on July 1, 2014.
B. Each year, the amounts, by source, of facility funds, revolving loan fund funds, capital improvement fund funds, and the per campus student counts used in calculations pursuant to this Subsection shall be included as a schedule to the annual financial statements of the school board, audited by its certified public accountant, and submitted to the state Department of Education, all in a manner substantially similar to that provided in R.S. 17:1990(C)(2)(a)(iii)(dd).
C. (1) The operator of each school in the school district shall maintain a school facility repair and replacement account for each campus; such accounts are referred to in this Section as “school facility accounts”.
(2)(a) Beginning with the year following the retirement of all bonds referenced in Paragraph (A)(3) of this Section, the school board shall annually deposit into each school facility account amounts as follows:
(i) Eight hundred dollars per student for a school that is in a facility that was constructed prior to September 1, 2005, and that has not received a renovation exceeding half the value of the facility’s replacement cost since that date.
(ii) Five hundred dollars per student for a school that does not meet the criteria established in Item (i) of this Subparagraph.
(b) If facility funds are not sufficient to deposit the amounts required by Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, the school board shall deposit available funds in school facility accounts in accordance with its policy.
(3) Except as provided in Paragraph (7) of this Subsection, the school facility accounts shall be segregated, and funds therein shall not be commingled with other school funds. Funds in such an account shall be used only for the benefit of the campus for which it was established. The school board shall adopt investment policies governing school facility accounts. The provisions of R.S. 33:2955 and R.S. 49:321 are applicable to such accounts. Investment and interest earnings generated on funds in a school facility account shall be credited to the account and shall not be transferred to another account or used for purposes other than those allowable for funds in the school facility account. A school facility account shall be audited annually in accordance with monitoring policies developed by the school board, which shall include verification that the proper amounts were deposited into the school facility account and invested and used according to law and policy.
(4) The funds in the school facility account may be used only for the costs of capital repairs, improvements, and replacement, including debt service and other financing costs associated therewith. All expenditures shall be in accordance with law and policies developed by the school board. The school board shall develop policies defining an emergency and the protocol a school must follow in expending funds in the school facility account for emergency repairs. Expenditures for planned capital repairs, improvements, and replacements and finance costs associated with such expenditures shall be approved in advance by the charter school’s board if the school is a charter school and the school board. Expenditures for planned capital repairs and replacements shall reflect the appropriate priorities as reflected in the school’s long-term capital plan developed pursuant to Paragraph (5) of this Subsection.
(5) Prior to the retirement of all bonds referenced in Paragraph (A)(3) of this Section, the school facilities office, as provided for in Paragraph (D)(1) of this Section, shall develop for each campus, in consultation with the operator of the school, a long-term capital plan that meets the minimum requirements established by the school board. After the retirement of such bonds, the operator of the school is responsible for updating such plans, subject to requirements developed by the school board and the approval of the school facilities office. Such plans shall include but need not be limited to identifying key building components and when they will likely need to be repaired or replaced and the estimated cost of doing so.
(6) A school shall comply with all applicable school board policies regarding projects funded through its school facility account including but not limited to disadvantaged business enterprises policies.
(7) A charter operator may make a loan to a school facility account in accordance with school board policy and subject to school board approval. The loan shall be made only from excess fund balances or other funds not designated for instructional purposes from the school holding the school facility account or another school under the same operator. All such loans shall be interest-free. If the school tenant of a campus with an outstanding loan to the school facility account changes, the new school tenant must pay back the loan under the same terms as the prior tenant. If a school is lending money to the school facility account, the loan may be repaid with funds from the school facility account, just as if the school had borrowed money from the revolving loan fund, as provided for in Subsection F of this Section. The school board shall develop policies to address repayment of the loan in the event the campus is no longer occupied by a school.
(8) If a school does not follow the legal and policy requirements for the school facility account, the school board may suspend or terminate a school’s authority to use and control the funds in the school facility account. Prior to any such action, the school board shall give formal notice to the school and provide an opportunity for it to remedy the deficiency, all in accordance with policies governing such procedures.
(9) Funds in a school facility account are the property of the school board. A school facility account is campus-specific and remains with the campus should the school tenant of the campus change or should the school tenant no longer occupy the campus. However, if a campus is no longer to be used as a school, funds in the school facility account for that campus shall be used or redistributed in accordance with school board policies, which shall ensure that such funds are used for the benefit of campuses in the school district.
D. (1) The school board shall create a facilities office. From annual facility funds, it shall use twenty dollars per pupil attending school at a campus in the school district or whatever lesser amount is available after payments pursuant to Subsection C of this Section to fund the facilities office. The school board may adjust this per pupil amount on an annual basis by the lesser of the most recent annual increase in the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Department of Labor or in the minimum foundation program funds.
(2) To the extent that facility funds are available pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, the facilities office shall perform the following functions:
(a) Inspect and monitor facilities to ensure that they are being maintained and that each campus is in compliance with maintenance and inspection requirements. If a school is not properly maintaining its campus as required in the lease agreement, the school board may suspend or terminate use of the school facility account funds as provided in Paragraph (C)(8) of this Section or perform necessary maintenance, repair, or replacement work and charge the school the costs of such work plus a service fee. Prior to performing any such work, the school board shall give formal notice to the school and provide an opportunity for it to remedy the deficiency, all in accordance with policies governing such procedures.
(b) Manage building leases, handle emergency repairs prior to the retirement of the bonds referenced in Paragraph (A)(3) of this Section, ensure the management of the revolving loan fund and capital improvement fund, oversee and ensure the proper management of school facility repair and replacement accounts, all as provided for by this Section, and develop or approve long-term capital plans as provided for in Paragraph (C)(5) of this Section.
(3) The facilities office may provide additional facility services to charter schools, including emergency and capital repairs or replacements made after the retirement of the bonds referenced in Paragraph (A)(3) of this Section, procurement services, and technical assistance, and charge fees for such services pursuant to a written agreement with the school.
E. (1) Until all bonds referenced in Paragraph (A)(3) of this Section are retired, the school board shall use facility funds remaining after the allocation provided for in Subsection D of this Section for emergency repairs and replacements in accordance with policies it adopts for such purpose and for development of capital plans by the school facilities office as provided for in Paragraph (C)(5) of this Section. No more than one million five hundred thousand dollars of these funds shall be used to fund the development of such capital plans.
(2) In the school year following the retirement of such bonds and each year thereafter, the school board shall transfer remaining facility funds to the revolving loan fund, as is provided for in Subsection F of this Section, and to the capital improvement fund as is provided for in Subsection G of this Section. In the first year following retirement of the bonds, fifty million dollars or whatever lesser amount of facility funds remains shall be deposited into the revolving loan fund. If funds remain after this deposit of fifty million dollars, the school board shall determine the distribution of any remaining funds to the revolving loan fund and the capital improvement fund. In each subsequent year, the school board shall transfer remaining facility funds according to the following allocation schedule:
(a) If less than a total of fifty million dollars has been transferred to the revolving loan fund since its creation, all available funds shall be transferred into the revolving loan fund until the total contributions to the revolving loan fund since its creation equals fifty million dollars.
(b) If more than fifty million dollars but less than seventy-five million dollars has been transferred to the revolving loan fund since its creation, then half of all available funds shall be transferred into the revolving loan fund and half of all available funds shall be transferred into the capital improvement fund.
(c) If more than seventy-five million dollars has been transferred to the revolving loan fund since its creation, twenty-five percent of all available funds shall be transferred into the revolving loan fund and seventy-five percent of such funds shall be transferred into the capital improvement fund.
F. (1) The school board shall establish a revolving loan fund and make loans from the fund to schools that are in campuses in the school district to finance emergency or planned capital repairs and replacements, all in accordance with this Subsection.
(2) The school board shall establish policies governing the following: eligible repairs and replacements, how schools are to handle emergency repairs, approval of loan applications, maintenance of a minimum balance in the loan fund, priorities for granting loans, and any other aspect of administering the loan fund and loans made from it.
(3) A school shall be eligible for a loan only if the balance in its school facility account is below seventy-five thousand dollars. However, if a school will use funds from the school facility account to fund a portion of a repair or replacement project, it may receive a loan for that project if its budgeted expenditures for the project will result in a balance in its school facility account below seventy-five thousand dollars.
(4) A loan application from a charter school shall be approved by the charter school’s board prior to submission to the school board for approval.
(5) Loans shall be interest-free; however, the school board may charge a loan origination fee not exceeding five percent of the value of the loan or thirty thousand dollars per loan, whichever is less.
(6) Schools shall repay loans in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement from funds to be deposited to its school facility account, as provided for in Subsection C of this Section.
(7) No school may use proceeds of a loan for operating expenses, maintenance, or insurance costs.
(8) If a school vacates a campus for which a loan is outstanding and another school becomes the tenant in that campus, the new school shall assume the debt. The school board shall develop policies to address repayment of a loan in the event the campus is no longer occupied by a school.
G. (1) The school board shall establish a capital improvement fund and make grants from the fund to schools that are in campuses in the school district to finance preservation, improvements, capital repairs, construction, and replacement of facilities that were constructed prior to September 1, 2005, and that have not received a renovation exceeding half the value of the facility’s replacement cost since that date, all in accordance with this Subsection.
(2) The school board shall adopt policies governing the administration of the fund, including the expenditure of money in the capital improvement fund, criteria for determining when grants are made from the fund, and regular reports to the school board on fund activity.
(3) The school board shall establish policies defining the maximum grant for a single project.
H. (1) The school board shall not charge rent or any other fee to a charter school in the school district for the occupancy, use, or repair of a campus other than as authorized by this Section. The school board may, however, require a charter school to pay for maintenance, insurance, utilities, and other costs related to the operation and upkeep of a campus, as outlined in the lease agreement for occupancy of the campus. Except as provided in this Paragraph, this Section does not authorize a school board to require a charter school to expend funds on emergency or planned capital repairs or replacements in excess of funds available for such purposes pursuant to this Section.
(2) The school board shall annually prepare and issue a public report that includes all of the following: the amount of funds in the revolving loan fund and all loans made therefrom, the amount of funds in the capital improvement fund and all grants made therefrom, the amount of facility funds distributed to each campus, the amount allocated to fund the facility office, and the cost and type of each emergency repair made by the facilities office if applicable.
(3) This Section shall not be construed as a limitation on any authority or responsibility of a school board to seek or to expend funds on facility repairs, replacements, and improvements as otherwise provided by law including but not limited to the provisions of R.S. 17:59, 81, and 98.
I. For purposes of this Section, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed:
(1) “Campus” means a school building owned by the school board and all facilities otherwise part of the school, recognized as part of the facilities, and typically available to the school, its students, faculty, and staff. A single campus may include more than one neighboring school building. Generally, a single campus includes all facilities sharing a single legal address. In some cases, more than one school may occupy a single campus, and in other cases, a single school may occupy more than one campus.
(2) “School” means any public school with a unique site code assigned by the department.
(3) “School board” means the elected school board that governs schools in a school district.
(4) “School district” means all schools within the geographic jurisdiction of a local school board within which schools have been transferred to the Recovery School District pursuant to R.S. 17:10.7.
Added by Acts 2014, No. 543, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014. Amended by Acts 2016, No. 91, § 1, eff. May 12, 2016; Acts 2019, No. 430, § 1.