AN ACT

 

Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An act relating to the public school system, including certain provisions applicable as well to private and parochial schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto," in grounds and buildings, further providing for approval by Department of Education of plans, etc. of buildings and exceptions; providing for accountability and reducing costs in construction process; further providing for limitation on new applications for Department of Education approval of school building projects; providing for interest on delayed reimbursements; providing for interest on delayed reimbursement; and, in reimbursements by Commonwealth and between school districts, further providing for definitions, for approved reimbursable rental for leases hereafter approved and approved reimbursable sinking fund charges on indebtedness, for payments on account of leases hereafter approved and on account of sinking fund charges on indebtedness for school buildings hereafter constructed and for payments on account of building costs; and providing for lump sum reimbursement for construction or reconstruction.

The General Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) Recognizing challenges have developed and escalated over a period of years in the process of Commonwealth reimbursement for public school construction and reconstruction, which have caused delays in approvals by the Department of Education for reimbursement payments owed to school districts throughout this Commonwealth as well as the limitation on school district submission of new applications for Commonwealth reimbursement, and acknowledging that these challenges were born of an antiquated, complex and overly burdensome administrative process, as well as financially unsustainable Commonwealth construction and reconstruction reimbursement obligations, it is a matter of high priority that these challenges be addressed.

(2) Therefore, it is the intent of the General Assembly to reform the existing process of Commonwealth reimbursement for public school construction and reconstruction to ensure that a modern, simplified and financially sustainable process is instituted.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1. Section 731 of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, amended June 27, 1973 (P.L.75, No.34), is amended to read:

Section 731. Approval by Department of Plans, etc., of Buildings; Exceptions.--(a) The Department of Education, with respect to construction or reconstruction of public school buildings, shall have the power and its duties shall be:

(1) To review all projects, plans and specifications for school building construction or reconstruction, and to make recommendations thereon to the General Assembly and the Governor: Provided, however, That approval of the Department of  Education shall not be required for projects, plans and  specifications for school construction projects for which  reimbursement from the Commonwealth is not requested;

(2) To assist school districts in preplanning construction and reconstruction projects, and offer such architectural, engineering and financial advice as will enable the project to comply with the standards prescribed by the State Board of Education;

(3) To hold hearings on any or all projects and subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and compel the production of documents relevant to any investigation;

(4) To act as liaison between the public, local school officials, the General Assembly, and the Governor on school building construction and reconstruction projects;

(5) To receive and investigate complaints from the public or other source concerning any school building construction or reconstruction project;

(6) To conduct investigations on any phase of school building construction or reconstruction projects.

(7) To provide for an electronic database on its publicly accessible Internet website for the purpose of providing public access to information on public school construction and reconstruction projects, building purchases and charter school lease reimbursements submitted for the approval of, or approved by, the Department of Education. The electronic database shall indicate the date each application for reimbursement was submitted to the Department of Education and the date of approval for each step of the reimbursement process as outlined in section 731.2 of this act.

(b) The Department of Education shall employ engineers, architects, financial advisors, and such other staff personnel as may be necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the Department with respect to construction or reconstruction of public school buildings.

(c) No public school building shall be contracted for, constructed, or reconstructed, in any school district of the second, third, or fourth class until the plans and specifications therefor have been approved by the Department of Education[.

When ordinary repairs are proposed, such as plastering, painting, replacement of floors, improvement of school grounds, repairing or providing walks, roadways or retaining walls, the cost of which in districts of the second class or in districts of the third and fourth class will not exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) per building, no approval shall be required. Where any structural change is involved, such as moving or adding doors, windows, partitions, making additions or any excavations, or any work which may affect the safety or health of the pupils, or any work which comes under the jurisdiction of another department of the Commonwealth, approval of the Department of Education shall be required regardless of the cost of such structural change.]:

Provided, however, That approval of the Department of Education shall not be required for projects, plans and specifications for school construction projects for which reimbursement from the Commonwealth is not requested.

(d) No school building shall be purchased by any school district until such purchase shall have been approved by the Department of Education. Such approval shall not be given unless the school building to be purchased and any approved structural changes or renovations meet the standards required to operate public school buildings of a similar age currently in use in the Commonwealth.

(e) A new school building construction or reconstruction project approved by the Department of Education for reimbursement under this act shall comply with the provisions of the act of August 15, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known as the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act.

(f) For the 2014-2015 fiscal year and thereafter, a new school building construction or reconstruction project application shall include documentation that each contractor or firm performing work participates in an active apprenticeship program which is currently registered with and approved by the United States Department of Labor or the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council for each separate trade or classification for which it is performing work on that project and which has an apprentice currently registered or graduated within the previous 12 months.

Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

Section 731.2. Accountability and Reducing Costs in Construction Process.--(a) No later than July 1, 2015, the department shall develop and implement a process, including standardized forms and procedures, which shall be used by school districts to apply for Commonwealth reimbursement for school construction and reconstruction projects and which shall be known as the Accountability and Reducing Costs in Construction Process. In developing the Accountability and Reducing Costs in Construction Process, the department shall separate the process into five (5) benchmark steps of department approval which shall be labeled one (1) through five (5) and shall minimally include the following:

(1) Step 1 shall consist of the following:

(i) project description;

(ii) project justification; and

(iii) a technical schematic design review conference with the department.

(2) Step 2 shall consist of the following:

(i) site acquisition, if applicable to the project;

(ii) project accounting based on cost estimates; and

(iii) a conference with the department to review completed construction documents, including bid specifications, drawings for the project and documentation regarding the fulfillment of State and local agency requirements.

(3) Step 3 shall consist of the following:

(i) project accounting based on costs for actual construction bids for which contracts shall be awarded; and

(ii) project financing, including financing method and the calculation of the temporary reimbursable percent for the project. In calculating the temporary reimbursable percent, the department shall factor in a twenty (20) five (5) percentage point reduction which shall be utilized until the calculation of the permanent reimbursable percent is completed in Step 4.

Approval through Step 3 shall initiate project reimbursement from the Commonwealth.

(4) Step 4 shall consist of the following:

(i) interim reporting of project modifications, including the reporting of change orders and supplemental contracts; and

(ii) project accounting based on the final costs of a project after completion of the following:

(A) construction of the project; and

(B) payment for all construction or reconstruction work, unless the department has granted an exception.

The calculation of the permanent reimbursable percent for a project shall take place during Step 4.

(5) Step 5 shall consist of project refinancing, where applicable, to allow for the restructuring, refinancing or refunding of existing indebtedness.

(b) (1) Except as provided for in paragraph (2), school districts shall be reimbursed by the department in the order in which their projects received approval for Commonwealth reimbursement by the Department of Education.

(2) The Secretary of Education may prioritize the reimbursement of a school construction or reconstruction project of a school district declared to be in financial recovery status under Article VI-A of this act. Projects that are given priority under this paragraph shall be reimbursed before all other projects.

(c) (1) School districts shall develop a complete districtwide facility study of all district educational facilities, including the district administrative offices. The study shall be completed prior to, and within five (5) years of, the initial date of submission to the department of an application for Commonwealth reimbursement of a school construction or reconstruction project.

(2) The study shall provide an appraisal as to each facility's ability to meet current and planned education program requirements, the degree to which the present facilities meet reasonably current construction standards, and an estimated cost of necessary repairs and improvements.

(3) The study shall be submitted to the department along with an initial application for Commonwealth reimbursement of a school construction or reconstruction project.

(4) The department shall not grant to school districts any exceptions, waivers or variances to the provisions of this subsection.

(d) (1) In order to receive Commonwealth reimbursement for the construction of a new building, a school district shall, within Step 1 of the Accountability and Reducing Costs in Construction Process provided for in subsection (a), complete and submit to the department a cost-benefit analysis of the project that compares the construction of the proposed new building to the expansion or renovation of an existing building for the same purpose.

(2) If the cost of a new building exceeds that of the expansion or renovation of an existing building for the same purpose, the school district shall only be eligible for Commonwealth reimbursement for the new building if substantial evidence is presented which demonstrates the necessity of a new building and how a new building would better meet the needs of the school district and its students than a building expansion or renovation.

(3) A determination by the department that insufficient evidence was provided to demonstrate the necessity of a new building rather than a building expansion or renovation shall be appealable by a school district under 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).

(4) The department shall not grant to school districts any exceptions, waivers or variances to the provisions of this subsection.

(e) (1) School districts shall not be eligible for Commonwealth reimbursement of school construction or reconstruction project costs for any existing building which is less than thirty (30) years old or for which a Commonwealth reimbursable project has been approved by the department within the preceding thirty (30) years. The thirty (30) year period between eligible Commonwealth reimbursable projects for a school building shall be calculated from the bid opening date of the previous Commonwealth reimbursable project to the bid opening date of the proposed Commonwealth reimbursable project.

(2) The department shall not grant to school districts any exceptions, waivers or variances to the provisions of this subsection except in the case of an emergency. For the purposes of this paragraph, an emergency shall include a natural disaster, fire or flood, flood or an extraordinary and unanticipated increase in student enrollment or flood.

(f) (1) School districts shall not be eligible for Commonwealth reimbursement of school construction or reconstruction project costs for any existing building where the cost of expansion or renovation of the building, excluding costs for building purchase, movable fixtures and equipment, asbestos abatement, roof replacement, site development and architect fees, is less than forty (40) percent of the replacement value of the entire building.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to area vocational-technical school construction or reconstruction projects.

(3) The department shall not grant to school districts any exceptions, waivers or variances to the provisions of this subsection.

(g) The department shall, where possible and appropriate, automate the Accountability and Reducing Costs in Construction Process to allow school districts to submit plans and documents relating to reimbursement for a school construction or reconstruction project electronically.

(h) A school district shall not be required to submit any school construction or reconstruction project plans, drawings, bid specifications or other documents to the department on microfilm as a condition of receiving Commonwealth reimbursement for a construction or reconstruction project.

(i) A school district shall not be required to resubmit to the department any completed plans, drawings, bid specifications or other documents for a school construction or reconstruction project for which the department received a completed initial application by October 1, 2012, due to the implementation of this section.

(j) Subsections (c), (d), (e) and (f) shall not apply to any school construction or reconstruction project for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the department by October 1, 2012.

(k) No later than twelve (12) months after the effective date of this section, the department shall develop such rules and guidelines as may be necessary to implement this section: Provided, however, That the department shall not create steps of approval in addition to those provided for under subsection (a) and shall not require more than one school board resolution at each step.

(l) For the purposes of this section, the term "department" shall mean the Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

Section 3. Section 732.1(b) of the act, amended July 9, 2013 (P.L.408, No.59), is amended to read and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

Section 732.1. Limitation on New Applications for Department of Education Approval of Public School Building Projects.--* * *

(b) (1) The Department of Education shall, in consultation with school district officials and the General Assembly, conduct a review of the Department of Education's current process through which public school building projects are reviewed and approved for Commonwealth reimbursement. The review shall incorporate an analysis of impacting local factors, including, but not limited to, tax effort and building requirements, and shall make recommendations to the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate, the chair and minority chair of the Education Committee of the Senate, the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and the chair and minority chair of the Education Committee of the House of Representatives by May 1, 2013. The Department of Education shall also conduct a Statewide analysis of school facilities and future capital needs and shall submit a preliminary report on that analysis by May 1, 2014.

(2) The Statewide analysis shall be completed and submitted to the chairman and minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate, the chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the Senate, the chairman and minority chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and the chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the House of Representatives no later than May 1, 2015.

(c) (1) Any school district that began a school construction or reconstruction project during the time in which the Department of Education was not accepting or approving new school construction and reconstruction project applications for reimbursement pursuant to subsection (a) shall remain eligible and may apply for Commonwealth reimbursement for those school construction or reconstruction projects following the expiration of the limitation provided for under subsection (a).

(2) No later than twelve (12) months after the effective date of this section the department shall develop such rules and guidelines as may be necessary to implement this subsection.

Section 4. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

Section 732.2. Interest on Delayed Reimbursement.--(a) Each school district which has satisfactorily met all construction or reconstruction reimbursement requirements established by this act, 22 Pa. Code (relating to education) and the Department of Education, has submitted all appropriate documentation to the Department of Education necessary to receive approval for reimbursement for a school construction or reconstruction project and has not been approved for reimbursement after a period of one (1) year following the last date of submission of required documentation shall be eligible to receive interest on the delayed reimbursement.

(b) The interest on delayed reimbursement shall be an amount equal to the prime rate of interest, as listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published in the year, multiplied by the total amount of construction or reconstruction reimbursement for which the school district is eligible under Article XXV of this act but has not received, calculated for each year in which the school district does not receive reimbursement.

(c) Interest payments on delayed reimbursement shall be included in those payments made to a school district for Commonwealth reimbursement of a construction or reconstruction project when such payments commence.

Section 4. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

Section 732.2. Interest on Delayed Reimbursement.--(a) Each school district which has satisfactorily met all construction or reconstruction reimbursement requirements established by this act, Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code and the Department of Education and which has submitted all appropriate documentation to the Department of Education necessary to receive approval for reimbursement for a school construction or reconstruction project and which has not been approved for reimbursement after a period of one (1) year following the last date of submission of required documentation, shall be eligible to receive interest on the delayed reimbursement.

(b) The interest on delayed reimbursement shall be an amount equal to the prime rate of interest, as listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published in the year, multiplied by the total amount of construction or reconstruction reimbursement for which the school district is eligible under Article XXV of this act but has not received, calculated for each year in which the school district does not receive reimbursement.

(c) Interest payments on delayed reimbursement shall be included in those payments made to a school district for Commonwealth reimbursement of a construction or reconstruction project when such payments commence.

Section 5 4 5. Section 2501 of the act is amended by adding a definition to read:

Section 2501. Definitions.--For the purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following meanings:

* * *

(31) "Department." The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

Section 6. Section 2574(b.1), (c.4) and (c.6) of the act, amended or added July 13, 2005 (P.L.226, No.46) and July 11, 2006 (P.L.1092, No.114), are repealed:

Section 5. Section 2574(b), (b.1), (c), (c.4) and (c.6) of the act, amended or added June 12, 1968 (P.L.192, No.96), July 10, 1987 (P.L.286, No.50), July 13, 2005 (P.L.226, No.46) and July 11, 2006 (P.L.1092, No.114), are amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

Section 6. Section 2574(b.1), (c.4) and (c.6) of the act, amended or added July 13, 2005 (P.L.226, No.46) and July 11, 2006 (P.L.1092, No.114), are repealed:

Section 2574. Approved Reimbursable Rental for Leases Hereafter Approved and Approved Reimbursable Sinking Fund Charges on Indebtedness.--* * *

(b) For new school buildings the approved building construction cost shall be the lesser of

(1) The cost of constructing the school buildings including the cost of essential fixtures and equipment but excluding architect's fees in excess of six per cent (6%) of the contract price, or

(2) The product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Public Instruction at the time the project is approved and (i) one thousand one hundred dollars ($1100) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1700) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by one thousand one hundred dollars ($1100) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1700) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.

(3) The provisions of clause (2) of subsection (b) hereof shall apply to all school building projects for which the general construction contract is awarded prior to July 1, 1966, and for approved school building projects for which a lease was approved by the Department of Public Instruction prior to July 1, 1966. For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to July 1, 1966 and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease was not approved by the Department of Public Instruction prior to July 1, 1966, the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Public Instruction at the time the project is approved and (i) two thousand three hundred dollars ($2300) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) three thousand dollars ($3000) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by two thousand three hundred dollars ($2300) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by three thousand dollars ($3000) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.

(3.1) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to July 1, 1984, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to July 1, 1984, the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) three thousand nine hundred dollars ($3,900) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by three thousand nine hundred dollars ($3,900) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.

(4) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to January 1, 2005, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to January 1, 2005, the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four thousand seven hundred dollars ($4,700) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) six thousand two hundred dollars ($6,200) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four thousand seven hundred dollars ($4,700) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by six thousand two hundred dollars ($6,200) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.

(5) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to October 1, 2012, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education by October 1, 2012, the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four thousand two hundred thirty dollars ($4,230) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) five thousand five hundred eighty dollars ($5,580) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four thousand two hundred thirty dollars ($4,230) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by five thousand five hundred eighty dollars ($5,580) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.

[(b.1) For school buildings constructed and based on an approved school facility design received from the Department of Education's school facility design clearinghouse, for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to January 1, 2005, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to January 1, 2005, the approved building construction cost shall additionally include the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four hundred seventy dollars ($470) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) six hundred twenty dollars ($620) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four hundred seventy dollars ($470) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by six hundred twenty dollars ($620) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity.]

(c) For additions or alterations to existing buildings approved building construction cost shall be the lesser of

(1) The cost of constructing the additions or alterations including the cost of essential fixtures and equipment but excluding architect's fees in excess of six per cent (6%) of the contract price, or

(2) The difference obtained by subtracting the appraisal value of the existing building from the product of rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building as determined by the Department of Public Instruction at the time the project is approved and (i) one thousand one hundred dollars ($1100) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1700) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building by one thousand one hundred dollars ($1100) and the rated secondary pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building by one thousand seven hundred dollars ($1700) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building.

Appraisal value shall be the valuation made immediately before the additions or alterations are begun by three competent appraisers, one appointed by the school authorities, one by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the third by the other two.

(3) The provisions of clause (2) of subsection (c) hereof shall apply to all school building projects for which the general construction contract is awarded prior to July 1, 1966 and for approved school building projects for which a lease was approved by the Department of Public Instruction prior to July 1, 1966. For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to July 1, 1966 and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease was not approved by the Department of Public Instruction prior to July 1, 1966, the difference obtained by subtracting the appraisal value of the existing building from the product of rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building as determined by the Department of Public Instruction at the time the project is approved and (i) two thousand three hundred dollars ($2300) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) three thousand dollars ($3000) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building by two thousand three hundred dollars ($2300) and the rated secondary pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building by three thousand dollars ($3000) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building.

Appraisal value shall be the valuation made immediately before the additions or alterations are begun by three competent appraisers, one appointed by the school authorities, one by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the third by the other two.

(3.1) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to July 1, 1984, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to July 1, 1984, the difference obtained by subtracting the appraisal value of the existing building from the product of the rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) three thousand nine hundred dollars ($3,900) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by three thousand nine hundred dollars ($3,900) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by five thousand one hundred dollars ($5,100) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building.

(4) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to January 1, 2005, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to January 1, 2005, the difference obtained by subtracting the appraisal value of the existing building from the product of the rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four thousand seven hundred dollars ($4,700) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) six thousand two hundred dollars ($6,200) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four thousand seven hundred dollars ($4,700) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by six thousand two hundred dollars ($6,200) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building.

(5)  For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded subsequent to October 1, 2012, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education by October 1, 2012, the difference obtained by subtracting the appraisal value of the existing building from the product of the rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four thousand two hundred thirty dollars ($4,230) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) five thousand five hundred eighty dollars ($5,580) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four thousand two hundred thirty dollars ($4,230) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by five thousand five hundred eighty dollars ($5,580) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity of the altered or expanded building.

* * *

[(c.4) For school buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded on or after January 1, 2005, and for approved school building projects for which the general construction contract was awarded but for which a lease or general obligation bond resolution was not approved by the Department of Education prior to January 1, 2005, and where the school building receives a silver, gold or platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System or two, three or four Globes under the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes Green Building Rating System on or after January 1, 2005, the Department of Education shall adjust the approved building construction cost to additionally include the product of the rated pupil capacity as determined by the Department of Education at the time the project is approved and (i) four hundred seventy dollars ($470) in the case of elementary schools, (ii) six hundred twenty dollars ($620) in the case of secondary schools, (iii) an amount in the case of combined elementary-secondary schools obtained by multiplying the rated elementary pupil capacity by four hundred seventy dollars ($470) and the rated secondary pupil capacity by six hundred twenty dollars ($620) and dividing the sum by the total rated pupil capacity. The Department of Education in consultation with the Governor's Green Government Council shall issue guidelines to carry out this section.]

* * *

[(c.6) If a school district receives reimbursement for a school construction project under this section, the school district, upon request by the Department of Education, shall do all of the following:

(i) Provide information required by the department to determine whether the school construction project meets criteria established by the department for certification as an approved school facility design for purposes of the department's school facility design clearinghouse.

(ii) Authorize the department, in its discretion, to certify the school construction project as an approved school facility design and to include information about the certified project in the department's school facility design clearinghouse.]

* * *

(g) Subsections (b)(5) and (c)(5) of this section shall not apply to any school construction or reconstruction project for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education by October 1, 2012.

Section 7. Section 2575(a) of the act, amended July 12, 1968 (P.L.192, No.96), is amended to read:

Section 6 7. Section 2575(a) of the act, amended July 12, 1968 (P.L.192, No.96), is amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

Section 2575. Payments on Account of Leases Hereafter Approved and on Account of Sinking Fund Charges on Indebtedness for School Buildings Hereafter Constructed.--(a)  (1) The Commonwealth shall pay annually to each school district erecting or sharing in the erection of a building or buildings under the provisions of the Public School Building Authority Act, the Municipality Authority Act, section 758 [of the Public School Code of 1949,] or section 791 of [the Public School Code of 1949,] this act on account of buildings for which the lease is approved on or after March 22, 1956, or through the incurring of indebtedness by the issuance of general obligation bonds on account of buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded on or after March 22, 1956, an amount to be determined by multiplying the district's [[capital account reimbursement fraction computed for the year 1967 or]] aid ratio [[whichever is larger]] by the approved reimbursable rental or approved reimbursable sinking fund charge.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education by October 1, 2012.

(a.1) (1) The Commonwealth shall pay annually to each school district erecting or sharing in the erection of a building or buildings under the provisions of the Public School Building Authority Act, the Municipality Authority Act or section 758 or 791 of this act, on account of buildings for which the lease is approved on or after October 1, 2012, or through the incurring of indebtedness by the issuance of general obligation bonds on account of buildings for which the general construction contract is awarded on or after October 1, 2012, an amount to be determined by multiplying the district's aid ratio by the approved reimbursable rental or approved reimbursable sinking fund charge.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education after October 1, 2012.

* * *

Section 8 7 8. Section 2575.1 of the act, amended July 9, 1992 (P.L.392, No.85), is amended to read:

Section 2575.1. Payments on Account of Building Costs.--(a) (1) The Commonwealth shall pay to any school district making a preliminary payment on account of the approved building construction or approved renovation cost as authorized by section 783 or by clause (4) of section 790 or by clause (5) of section 791 of this act, an amount determined by multiplying the district's [[capital account reimbursement fraction computed for the year 1967 or]] aid ratio [[whichever is larger]] by the amount of the payment made by the school district.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education by October 1, 2012.

(a.1) (1) The Commonwealth shall pay to any school district making a preliminary payment on account of the approved building construction or approved renovation cost as authorized by section 783 or by clause (4) of section 790 or by clause (5) of section 791 of this act, an amount determined by multiplying the district's aid ratio by the amount of the payment made by the school district.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education after October 1, 2012.

(b)  (1) Whenever any school district provides the full payment on account of approved building construction or approved renovation cost without incurring debt, or without assuming a lease, the Commonwealth shall pay to such school district an amount determined by multiplying the district's [[capital account reimbursement fraction computed for the year 1967 or]] aid ratio [[whichever is larger]] by the amount of the payment made by the school district.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education by October 1, 2012.

(b.1) (1) Whenever any school district provides the full payment on account of approved building construction or approved renovation cost without incurring debt, or without assuming a lease, the Commonwealth shall pay to such school district an amount determined by multiplying the district's aid ratio by the amount of the payment made by the school district.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to school construction or reconstruction projects for which a completed initial school construction or reconstruction project application was submitted to the Department of Education after October 1, 2012.

(c) The payment required by this section shall be made for the year in which the school district made its payment on account of the approved building construction or approved renovation cost.

Section 9 8 9. The act is amended by adding a section to read:

Section 2581. Lump Sum Reimbursement for Construction or Reconstruction.--(1) (a) The department may, at any time, upon the availability of sufficient funds and the mutual agreement of the department and a school district, provide an immediate lump sum payment to the school district as full reimbursement for a construction or reconstruction project that has received all required approvals from the department for Commonwealth reimbursement that has received all required approvals from the department for Commonwealth reimbursement. The lump sum payment provided for under this section shall be equal to no greater than equal to seventy-five percent (75%) of the total allowable construction or reconstruction reimbursement provided for under Article XXV of this act for which the school district is eligible: Provided, however, That such payments shall not include reimbursement for interest incurred by a school district.

(b) Each agreement for lump sum reimbursement under this section shall require the school district receiving a lump sum payment to relinquish any current claim to the total allowable construction or reconstruction reimbursement provided for under Article XXV of this act for which the school district is eligible in exchange for the immediate lump sum payment of a lesser amount.

(c) The department shall make the opportunity for a lump sum payment available to school districts in the order in which school districts submitted completed initial applications for reimbursement of construction or reconstruction projects.

(d) For the 2014-2015 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, where the General Assembly makes an appropriation to the Department of Education in the General Appropriation Act, for the purpose of payments on account of annual rental or sinking fund charges on school buildings, including charter schools, in excess of the amount appropriated to that line item for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the department shall first use the additional funding to offer lump sum reimbursement to school districts as provided for in this section.

(2) (e) (b) No later than twelve (12) months after the effective date of this section, the department shall develop such rules and guidelines as may be necessary to implement this section.

Section 10. For the 2014-2015 fiscal year the General Assembly shall appropriate not less than $396,198,000 to the Authority Rentals and Sinking Fund Requirements line item in the General Appropriation Act.

Section 11. This act shall take effect as follows:

(1) The addition of section 731.2(d), (e), (f) and (g) of the act shall take effect July 1, 2015.

(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect immediately.

Section 9. This act shall take effect immediately.

Section 10. For the 2014-2015 fiscal year the General Assembly shall appropriate not less than $396,198,000 to the Authority Rentals and Sinking Fund Requirements line item in the General Appropriation Act.

Section 11. This act shall take effect as follows:

(1) The addition of section 731.2(d), (e), (f) and (g) of the act shall take effect July 1, 2015.

(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect immediately.