Analysis

Synopsis:

 Senate Bill 318 (SB 318) relates to Public Schools requiring notification to charter schools of property available for their educational operations; allowing school districts to develop facility prioritization plans. SB 318 creates a Charter Facility Fund and requires policies for loans from the Public Project Revolving Fund or the Charter Facility Fund. Modifies the terms applicable to grants from the Public School Capital Outlay Fund for leased facilities. Specifies dates by which charter schools must provide information on capital improvement projects proposed for funding through property tax imposition. Makes an appropriation.

Analysis:

 Senate Bill 318 (SB 318) relates to Public Schools requiring notification to charter schools of property available for their educational operations; allowing school districts to develop facility prioritization plans. SB 318 creates a Charter Facility Fund and requires policies for loans from the Public Project Revolving Fund or the Charter Facility Fund. Modifies the terms applicable to grants from the Public School Capital Outlay Fund for leased facilities. Specifies dates by which charter schools must provide information on capital improvement projects proposed for funding through property tax imposition. Makes an appropriation.  

SECTION 1. A new section of the New Mexico Finance Authority Act (Act) is enacted to read:
PUBLIC PROJECT REVOLVING FUND--LOANS TO CHARTER SCHOOLS—POLICIES.
The authority shall adopt policies for the Public Project Revolving Fund to provide loans to charter schools for the purchase, construction, expansion or renovation of facilities or to pay off lease-purchase agreements that include: 
A. evidence that any lease-purchase agreements are in accord with the Public School Lease Purchase Act;
B. evidence that a charter school's charter has been renewed at least once; and 
C. review of the last two audits of the charter school." 

SECTION 2. Amends Public Schools Section 22-8B-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 281, Section 4, as amended) CHARTER SCHOOLS' RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES-- OPERATION to amend Subsection F to provide that a school district that has available land or facilities not in use for educational purposes shall make the land and facilities available to charter schools in the school district for lease, lease-purchase of purchase for their operations and shall notify them of that availability no later than May 1 of each year. The public school facilities authority shall annually ensure that each school district with available land or facilities has provided that notification. A school district may develop a facility prioritization plan that identifies which charter schools may lease, lease-purchase or purchase available school district facilities. School-district-owned land shall not be considered available to a charter school if the school district has justified future use of that land through its five-year facilities master plan.

SECTION 3. Amends Section 22-24-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 235, Section 4, as amended by Laws 2019, Chapter 179, Section 2 and by Laws 2019, Chapter 180, Section 1) PUBLIC SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY FUND CREATED-- USE for the use of the word facilities throughout as represented by the revised definition in Subsection I(6)(b) as follows:
(b)  "facilities" includes the space needed as determined by the five-year facilities master plan aligned with statewide adequacy standards, for school activities.

SECTION 4. A new section of the Public School Capital Outlay Act is enacted to create the CHARTER FACILITY FUND.—
A. The Charter Facility Fund (Fund) is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury and consists of appropriations and other money. The Fund shall be administered by the authority, and money in the fund shall be expended by the authority on authorization by the council. Expenditures shall be by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the director of the authority or the director's designated representative.
B. The Fund shall be used to pay off charter school lease-purchase agreements.
C. The council shall adopt rules to provide loans to charter schools for the purchase, construction, expansion or renovation of facilities that include: 
(1) evidence that any lease-purchase agreements are in accordance with the Public School Lease Purchase Act;
(2) evidence that a charter school's charter has been renewed at least once; and 
(3) review of the last two audits of the charter school." 

SECTION 5. Amends Section 22-25-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975 (S.S.), Chapter 5, Section 3, as amended) AUTHORIZATION FOR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD TO SUBMIT QUESTION OF CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TAX IMPOSITION to insert Subsection B that requires a school district with charter schools shall collaborate with the the charter schools to establish a process through which the charter schools submit necessary information to the school district for inclusion in the resolution and specifies the information that this process shall include. Reletters the section.
C. A resolution submitted to the qualified electors shall include capital improvements funding for a locally chartered or state-chartered charter school located within the school district if the charter school has complied with the process outlined in Subsection B of this section.”

SECTION 6. Amends Section 22-26-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 163, Section 3, as amended) AUTHORIZATION FOR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD TO SUBMIT QUESTION OF CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TAX IMPOSITION to insert Subsection B that requires a school district with charter schools shall collaborate with the the charter schools to establish a process through which the charter schools submit necessary information to the school district for inclusion in the resolution and specifies the information that this process shall include. Reletters the section.
C. A resolution submitted to the qualified electors shall include capital improvements funding for a locally chartered or state-chartered charter school located within the school district if the charter school has complied with the process outlined in Subsection B of this section.”

SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION. Appropriates $1,000,000 from the General Fund Operating Reserve to the Public Project Revolving Fund for expenditure in Fiscal Year 2022 and subsequent fiscal years to provide loans to charter schools for the renovation, construction, purchase or expansion of a charter school facility or to pay off charter school lease-purchase agreements as provided in Section 6 of this act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to any other fund.

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