Proposition 39 Facilities Application Period Underway

September 19, 2012

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This school year, San Bernardino's SOAR Charter Academy started classes in a Proposition 39 facility, giving them not only much needed space, but also the opportunity to expand their enrollment.

Like SOAR Charter Academy, many charter schools across the state submit applications to their districts every year in an effort to secure space, and under Prop. 39, districts are required to provide reasonably equivalent facilities. Although districts may not always follow the law, CCSA continues to advocate for charter schools during this process. The application deadline for Prop. 39 facilities for the 2013-14 school year is November 1, and we are encouraging charter schools to begin the application process as soon as possible.

Why is it important to apply for Prop. 39 facilities? Because by doing so, not only are charters looking for a cost-effective facility for their students, they are also ensuring that districts acknowledge their responsibility to provide charter schools with reasonably equivalent facilities under the law.

Last year, we saw a significant increase in the number of Prop. 39 applications across the state, and we were able to secure long-term facilities in districts like Sacramento City Unified.

Proposition 39 is a valuable tool, and provides charter schools with "safety net" to support their facilities while also being useful on a variety of levels, including providing (1) a temporary home for new operators who are seeking an "incubator solution" while they build their student base, (2) an affordable option for charters to compare against their existing private lease agreement, (3) a default option for operators about to enter into a private lease, but might experience entitlement challenges, (4) a means of potentially acquiring district resources in lieu of a standard Prop. 39 site.

As the process gets underway, be sure to visit our Prop. 39 Resources web page, which includes valuable templates, informative webinars, and important deadlines. Our Legal Team will be offering both Pro Bono Legal reviews to applicants as well as Office Hours before the November 1st deadline. Be sure to check the Weekly Member Digest for more information.

We also want to highlight our updated Facilities Advocacy web page as well as our Prop. 39 Media and Community Outreach Toolkit to help you raise awareness on this issue, and the importance of facilities for your students and your community.

More information on Proposition 39 will be given at the upcoming Regional Meetings, so be sure to also sign up to attend.

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