News Briefs | FYI
January 29, 2024
State receives $4.9 million for small schools infrastructure
On Jan. 4, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the California Department of Education is among the recipients of the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant Program. Through a SASI Grant, CDE will receive $4.99 million toward improving school facilities in small school districts across California.
“We know how important school facilities are in providing a safe and healthy environment for our students. We must make sure that safe, healthy, and up-to-date school facilities are available to children in every community,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in a news release.
In California, over half of all school districts are classified as small school districts, with enrollment counts fewer than 2,500 students.
The $4.99 million in federal SASI funds that California applied for and was awarded will be invested in the infrastructure of small and rural districts through several programs that will aid these districts in supporting their facility needs. One is a direct technical assistance program, which will allow school facility professionals to visit districts to assess facility needs, estimate costs, identify funding options and coordinate the development of various facility contracts that include architect, Inspector of Record and construction, all free of charge to the district. The SASI grant funds will allow the CDE to develop a network of facility practitioners to support small and rural districts, along with a centralized online resource in the form of a portal or web page for school facilities staff to address maintenance assessment, state and national funding sources, and contract development and management. This online resource would also include standardized forms and tools, along with an on-demand library of resources.
In addition, the grant will increase the capacity for districts to have access to state level expertise on facility maintenance. The CDE will fund a statewide School Facilities Maintenance Specialist, who will serve as a liaison with county offices of education.
Virtual Networking Events to be held in February
ACSA members have the honor to serve on Committees and Councils based upon job-alike functions or sharing a common interest or goal. During 2023-24, several of ACSA’s Committees and Councils will offer Virtual Networking Events where administrators will be able to join others similar in their job position or interest to network and learn. These meetings are open to ACSA members as well as non-members. Upcoming meetings include ACSA/CAPEA, Feb. 7, 10-11:30 a.m.; and Equity, Feb. 13, 10-11 a.m. Visit www.acsa.org/committees-councils#tab4 for registration links and the most up-to-date information as times/dates are subject to change.
CAAPLE conference scheduled for April 19-21
“Building and Belonging Leadership: Leveraging Our Cultural Strengths for System Change” is the theme for The California Association of Asian & Pacific Leaders in Education (CAAPLE) annual conference in Newport Beach from April 19-21. All ACSA members are invited to engage in professional networking, explore opportunities for career development, hear from inspiring keynote speakers, and attend exciting workshops and breakout sessions centered around the conference theme. For more information, visit www.bit.ly/caapleconference.
School health conference planned in Santa Clara
The California School-Based Health Alliance’s statewide School Health Conference in Santa Clara April 29-30 is an opportunity for health practitioners, educators, and advocates to connect and learn how to best support students with increased access to health care at school. See details and register: bit.ly/CSHAconference.