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A02536
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
700
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BROWNE, SCARNATI, CORMAN, LANGERHOLC, AUMENT,
COSTA, HUGHES, DINNIMAN, BREWSTER, GORDNER, FOLMER,
TOMLINSON, DiSANTO, L. WILLIAMS, ARGALL, MARTIN, KILLION,
MENSCH, VOGEL, YAW, K. WARD, LAUGHLIN, PHILLIPS-HILL,
SCAVELLO, SCHWANK, SANTARSIERO, BLAKE, LEACH, COLLETT,
TARTAGLIONE, BROOKS, REGAN, STEFANO, BOSCOLA, KEARNEY, BAKER,
BARTOLOTTA, FONTANA, J. WARD, FARNESE, A. WILLIAMS, SABATINA,
YUDICHAK, IOVINO, MUTH, STREET AND HAYWOOD, JUNE 3, 2019
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, JUNE 3, 2019
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," establishing the Public Higher
Education Funding Commission; providing for construction and
renovation of buildings by school entities; and establishing
a grant program for maintenance projects.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding an
article articles to read:
ARTICLE XX-I
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO
INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Section 2001-I. Public Higher Education Funding Commission.
(a) Establishment.--The Public Higher Education Funding
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Commission is established.
(b) Duties.--The commission shall review and make
recommendations related to higher education funding,
affordability and effectiveness and administration and
operations as provided in this section.
(c) Membership.--
(1) The commission shall consist of the following
members:
(i) The chair and minority chair of the
Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the chair and
minority chair of the Education Committee of the Senate.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Two legislators from each of the four
legislative caucuses, to be appointed by the President
pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives in consultation with the Majority Leader
and Minority Leader of the Senate and the Majority Leader
and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
(iv) The Secretary of Education.
(v) The Deputy Secretary for Postsecondary and
Higher Education.
(vi) An individual from the administration appointed
by the Governor.
(2) The commission shall appoint a member to serve as
chair of the commission.
(d) Meetings.--
(1) The commission shall hold its first meeting within
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45 days of the effective date of this section, regardless of
whether all legislative caucuses have approved members to the
commission.
(2) The commission shall hold meetings at the call of
the chair.
(e) Payments to members.--The members may not receive
compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for all
necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in
connection with the performance of their duties as members of
the commission.
(f) Administrative support.--The General Assembly shall
provide administrative support, meeting space and any other
assistance required by the commission to carry out its duties
under this section in cooperation with the department. The
department shall provide the commission with data, research and
other information upon request by the commission.
(g) Cooperation from public institutions of higher education
and agency .--The public institutions of higher education and the
agency shall provide meeting space and any other assistance
required by the commission to carry out its duties under this
section. The public institutions of higher education and the
agency shall provide the commission with data, research and
other information upon request of the chairman.
(h) Higher education funding formula.--The commission shall
develop a higher education funding formula and identify factors
that may be used to determine the distribution of funding among
the public institutions of higher education. The factors
identified under this subsection may include all of the
following:
(1) Goals for higher education.
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(2) Goals for higher education completion and
attainment.
(3) This Commonwealth's higher education needs.
(4) The affordability of higher education for residents
of this Commonwealth.
(5) Resident and nonresident undergraduate and graduate
enrollments.
(6) Graduation rates.
(7) Retention rates.
(8) Time to degree, including associate's degrees and
bachelor's degrees.
(9) Cost per degree, including tuition and fees.
(10) Operational cost per full-time student.
(11) Student debt, including debt of graduates and
noncompleters.
(12) Student financial aid, including programs
administered by the agency on behalf of the Commonwealth .
(13) Job placement after graduation.
(14) Entry level wages.
(15) Degrees granted in occupations that will align with
the Commonwealth's long-term economic needs.
(16) Utilization of existing educational programs and
facilities.
(17) Transfer and articulation of credits between public
institutions of higher education.
(18) Institutional mission, including metrics that
reflect differences in the missions between institutions and
the differences between two-year and four-year institutions.
(19) The appropriate level of recurring State support to
maintain operations.
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(20) The appropriate level of formula driven funding to
incentivize success.
(21) The access , enrollment and outcomes of
underrepresented populations, including, but not limited to,
low-income students, first-generation students, rural
students, adult students, veterans and students of color.
(22) Comparisons of the factors contained in this
section with those factors for private institutions of higher
education that are located inside and outside this
Commonwealth, when available.
(23) Other factors related to higher education and the
distribution of higher education funding that the commission
deems appropriate.
(i) Additional powers and duties.--The commission shall have
all of the following powers and duties:
(1) Review and make findings and recommendations related
to higher education funding in this Commonwealth.
(2) Consult with and utilize experts to assist the
commission in carrying out the duties under this subsection.
(3) Receive input from interested parties, including,
but not limited to, public institutions of higher education.
(4) Hold public hearings in different regions of this
Commonwealth.
(5) Review and consider higher education funding
formulas and factors utilized throughout the United States.
(6) In identifying the higher education funding factors
under subsection (h) and in completing the report required
under this subsection, consider the impact these factors may
have on the distribution of higher education funding among
the public institutions of higher education.
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(7) Review the administration and operation of State and
regional higher education programs and services, including
the public institutions of higher education and the agency to
determine if cost savings for the Commonwealth and its
students may be achieved and make recommendations to
implement savings and efficiencies.
(8) Review the administration and operations of State
and regional higher education programs and services,
including the public institutions of higher education and the
agency, and make recommendations regarding administration and
operations.
(9) Prior to recommending a higher education funding
formula under this section, consider the potential
consequences of a higher education funding formula that does
not allocate to each public institution of higher education
at least the same level or proportion of State funding as the
institution received in the prior fiscal year.
(10) Prior to recommending a higher education funding
formula under this section, consider nationally accepted
accounting and budgeting standards.
(11) Develop a proposed higher education funding formula
and factors pursuant to subsection (h).
(12) Draft proposed legislation based on the
commission's findings.
(13) Issue a report of the commission's findings and
recommendations to the Governor, the President pro tempore of
the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, the
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives, the Secretary of Education and the State
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Board of Education, the Appropriations Committee of the
Senate, the Appropriations Committee of the House of
Representatives, the Education Committee of the Senate and
the Education Committee of the House of Representatives not
later than one year after the effective date of this section.
(j) Effective date of higher education funding formula.--The
higher education funding formula developed by the commission
shall not go into effect unless the formula is approved by an
act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date of
this section.
(k) Continuation of commission.--Every five years the
commission shall be reconstituted in accordance with subsection
(c) and shall meet and hold public hearings to review the
operation of the higher education funding provisions of this
section and shall make a further report and issue the report to
the recipients listed in subsection (i)(13).
(l) Level of State funding through appropriations.--The
General Assembly shall, through the annual appropriations
process, determine the level of State funding for public
institutions of higher education.
(m) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency.
"Commission." The Public Higher Education Funding Commission
established under this section.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Public institution of higher education." Any of the
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following:
(1) A community college operating under Article XIX-A of
the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the
Public School Code of 1949.
(2) A rural regional college established under Article
XIX-G of the Public School Code of 1949.
(3) A university within the State System of Higher
Education under Article XX-A of the Public School Code of
1949.
(4) A State-related institution as defined in section
2001-C of the Public School Code of 1949.
(5) The Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
(6) The Pennsylvania College of Technology.
ARTICLE XXVI-J
CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION OF BUILDINGS
BY SCHOOL ENTITIES
Section 2601-J. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Adjustment factor." A fraction between zero and one
established under this article.
"Base reimbursement amount." The State median structural
cost per full-time equivalent student for completed school
building projects receiving reimbursement calculated by the
department for every five years prior to the effective date of
this section and every five-year period thereafter.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Emergency." A deficiency in a school building that
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prohibits the school building or a portion of the building from
being occupied or puts the health, safety or welfare of students
at risk .
"Full-time equivalent building capacity." The sum of the
products of the room capacity multiplied by the cost weighting
factor for each of the building's rooms as follows:
(1) For a regular classroom that is instructional space
with no specialized construction, the room capacity shall be
25 and the cost weighting factor shall be one.
(2) For a prekindergarten or kindergarten classroom that
is instructional space with no specialized construction, the
room capacity shall be 25 and the cost weighting factor shall
be one.
(3) For a special education classroom, the room capacity
shall be 15 and the cost weighting factor shall be one.
(4) For an alternative education classroom, the room
capacity shall be 20 and the cost weighting factor shall be
one.
(5) For an art or music classroom, including a band
room, orchestra room or choral room, the room capacity shall
be 25 and the cost weighting factor shall be one and one-
tenth.
(6) For a career and technical education classroom or
television studio, the room capacity shall be 20 and the cost
weighting factor shall be one and six-tenths.
(7) For a laboratory, including a science laboratory,
business room, consumer science room or computer laboratory,
the room capacity shall be 25 and the cost weighting factor
shall be one and three-tenths.
(8) For a library or gymnasium, including an auxiliary
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gymnasium, the room capacity shall be 50 and the cost
weighting factor shall be one and four-tenths.
For the purpose of performing the full-time equivalent building
capacity calculation, a planetarium, natatorium and
administration building shall not be included.
"Program." The maintenance project grant program established
under this article.
"Project." The construction of a new building, the addition
to an existing building or the renovation of an existing
building.
"School entity." A school district or career and technical
center.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.
"Wealth factor." As follows:
(1) For a career and technical center, the market value
aid ratio of the career and technical center.
(2) For a school district, the greater of the market
value aid ratio of the school district or the result of the
following calculation:
(i) Multiply the school district's median household
income index under section 2502.53(d)(5) by the school
district's local effort capacity index under section
2502.53(c)(4).
(ii) Divide the State median of the products in
subparagraph (i) by the school district's product in
subparagraph (i).
(iii) Multiply the quotient in subparagraph (ii) by
0.5 and subtract the product from 1.
(iv) Determine the greater of the product in
subparagraph (iii) and 0.1500.
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(v) If applicable, add the following amount to the
amount determined under subparagraph (iv) :
(A) If the school district qualifies for the
sparsity size adjustment under section 2502.53(c)(1)
(vii), the amount of 0.1000.
(B) If the school district qualifies for the
concentrated poverty weight under section 2502.53(c)
(1)(iv), the amount of 0.0500.
Section 2602-J. School construction and renovation approval
process.
(a) General rule.--To be eligible to receive reimbursement
from the Commonwealth for costs of a project, a school entity
must receive appropriate approval from the department. To be
eligible to receive approval, a school entity shall comply with
the following process as developed and administered by the
department in the order prescribed under this section:
(1) Part 1 - Project Justification.
(i) The school entity must first submit an
application containing the following to the department
pursuant to the requirements developed by the department:
(A) The summary page from a school entity-wide
facility study that is not more than five years old.
(B) A school board resolution approving the
project.
(C) The educational specifications of the
project.
(D) A design overview, drawings and scheduled
area floor plan for the project.
(E) A site plan for the project.
(F) Preliminary materials required under section
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701.1.
(ii) To approve a school entity's application under
this paragraph, the department shall:
(A) Verify compliance with the school entity's
facility study.
(B) Verify receipt of the school board
resolution approving the project.
(C) Assess whether the project meets educational
specifications and enrollment needs.
(D) Review the project's compliance with section
701.1.
(E) Calculate the project's preliminary
reimbursement amount.
(F) Verify compliance with subsection (b).
(2) Part 2 - Construction Documents.
(i) The school entity must submit an application
containing the following to the department pursuant to
the requirements developed by the department:
(A) Evidence of the school entity's intent to
award contracts.
(B) Materials required under section 701.1.
(C) Bid and construction documents for the
project.
(D) Notice of the intent to award bids and bid
outcome materials for the project.
(E) Confirmation of the project's compliance
with the requirements of other agencies.
(F) The project's updated scheduled area floor
plan.
(ii) To approve a school entity's application under
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this paragraph, the department shall:
(A) Review bid and construction documents for
the project.
(B) Review the project's compliance with section
701.1.
(C) Confirm decisions of bids received for each
bid event for the project.
(D) Approve the project's construction documents
before contracts are signed as a condition of
reimbursement.
(E) Confirm the project has complied with the
requirements of other agencies.
(F) Review the project's updated scheduled area
floor plan and the school entity's enrollment.
(G) Calculate the project's final reimbursement
amount.
(3) Part 3 - Project Bid Awards.
(i) The school entity must submit an application
containing the following to the department pursuant to
the requirements developed by the department:
(A) Evidence of the school board's approval of
signed contracts.
(B) Contractor certifications for the project.
(C) Final bid tabulations for the project.
(D) An application for reimbursement for the
project under section 2606-J.
(ii) To approve a school entity's application under
this paragraph and begin reimbursement to the school
entity under section 2606-J, the department shall:
(A) Assess the project's cost accounting based
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on the actual bids.
(B) Review the project's compliance with
subsection (b).
(C) Review the project's compliance with section
701.1.
(D) Review the project's application for
reimbursement to the school entity under section
2606-J.
(4) Part 4 - Project Completion.
(i) The school entity must submit an application
containing the following to the department pursuant to
the requirements developed by the department:
(A) Within one year of occupancy, an independent
audit of the project that may correspond with the
school entity's annual audit.
(B) Attestation of the project's compliance with
section 701.1.
(ii) To approve a school entity's application under
this paragraph, the department shall:
(A) Review the project's final costs pursuant to
the independent audit.
(B) Review the project's compliance with section
701.1.
(b) Additions to and renovations of existing buildings.--
Unless the secretary grants an exception, the department may not
approve the following for school construction reimbursement:
(1) An addition to or renovation of an existing school
building where a previous reimbursable construction project
occurred at the school building within 20 years of the
current application.
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(2) Renovation of an existing school building if the
cost of the addition or renovation is less than 20% of the
replacement value of the entire building.
(c) Internet-based application.--The department shall
develop an Internet-based application to comply with the
provisions of this section and provide for school entities to
submit required documents electronically via the Internet.
(d) (Reserved).
(e) Project information.--The department shall maintain the
information submitted and reviewed under this section in an
electronic format and make project information available
electronically to the applicant school entity.
(f) (Reserved).
Section 2603-J. High-performance building standards.
(a) Recognition of standards.--
(1) The secretary shall recognize 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 as high-performance
building standards and the department shall use the standards
in the administration of this article.
(2) The secretary may recognize other high-performance
building standards, in addition to those under paragraph (1),
that meet or exceed the standards outlined under paragraph
(1).
(3) The department shall use only the recognized
standards provided for in this section in the administration
of this article.
(4) Prior to recognizing a high-performance building
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standard under paragraph (2), the secretary shall transmit
notice to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in
the Pennsylvania Bulletin and on the department's publicly
accessible Internet website 90 days prior to recognizing the
new standard.
(b) Reimbursement enhancement.--
(1) A school entity that utilizes the high-performance
building standards for a project under subsection (a) and
satisfies the requirement under paragraph (2) shall receive a
10% increase above the amount calculated under section 2606-
J.
(2) For a school entity to receive the reimbursement
incentive for a project under paragraph (1), the school
entity must provide the department with a projection showing
a positive return on investment over the building's lifetime
for utilizing the high-performance building standards when
compared to regular construction practices.
(3) The department shall develop standards and a
process, in coordination with the application process in
section 2602-J, for awarding an enhanced reimbursement for
compliance with high-performance building standards.
Section 2604-J. Maintenance program.
(a) Grant program to be established.--The department shall
establish a maintenance project grant program to support school
entity maintenance projects.
(b) Eligibility.--Maintenance projects that are eligible for
grants under this section shall include the following:
(1) Roof repairs and roof replacement.
(2) Heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.
(3) Boilers and controls.
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(4) Plumbing systems.
(5) Energy savings projects.
(6) Health and safety upgrades.
(7) Emergencies.
(8) Other projects approved by the secretary.
(c) Application process.--The department shall develop a
process through which school entities may submit applications
for grant awards.
(d) Funding rubric.--The department shall develop a rubric
to prioritize grant awards under this section. The rubric shall
consider the following:
(1) School entity wealth.
(2) Prior receipt of grant awards.
(3) Building conditions.
(4) Emergencies.
(5) Safety and security.
(e) Local match required.--
(1) A school entity shall provide a 50% match for each
grant awarded.
(2) No matching funds shall be required for a project
that is determined by the secretary to be an emergency.
(f) Limitation on grant award.--
(1) No grant award for a maintenance project may exceed
$1,000,000.
(2) No school entity may receive an annual allocation of
grants that exceeds 20% of the funds available under the
program.
(g) Funding.--
(1) The program shall be funded from a set-aside equal
to 25% of the appropriation for school building projects
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annually under this article.
(2) No less than 20% of the funds allocated to the
program under paragraph (1) shall be awarded to projects that
enhance school building safety and security.
(3) In any fiscal year when funds are available for
grants under the program as provided in paragraph (1), the
department shall allocate 50% of the set-aside for grants by
December 31 and the other 50% of the set-aside for grants not
later than June 30 of that fiscal year.
(h) Transmission of information to General Assembly.--The
department shall annually transmit grant award information to
the Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the
Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives,
including grant amounts and scoring from the rubric under
subsection (d).
Section 2605-J. Building condition assessments.
(a) Duties of department.--
(1) The department shall develop guidelines for school
entities to voluntarily report information related to school
building safety, inventory and condition. The guidelines
shall include a building condition assessment to be
voluntarily completed every 10 years for school entities that
includes, but is not limited to, a projection of costs to
maintain and renovate existing school buildings.
(2) The department shall post completed building
condition assessments on the department's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(3) The department shall provide additional points under
the funding rubric contained in section 2604-J(d) for grants
applied for by school entities that complete building
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condition assessments.
(b) Completion incentive.--A school entity that completes a
building condition assessment shall receive a 2% increase above
the amount calculated under section 2606-J. The department shall
develop a process, in coordination with the application process
in section 2602-J, for awarding an enhanced reimbursement for
completing a building condition assessment.
Section 2606-J. Project reimbursement.
(a) General rule.--The Commonwealth shall reimburse a school
entity that receives department approval on an application under
section 2602-J(a)(3) by the amount calculated as follows:
(1) Multiply the base reimbursement amount by the
adjustment factor.
(2) Multiply the product under paragraph (1) by the
lesser of the project's enrollment and full-time equivalent
building capacity.
(3) Multiply the product under paragraph (2) by the
school entity's wealth factor.
(b) Limitation.--The maximum payment under this section
shall not exceed 65% of a project's structural cost.
(c) Installment payments.--A school entity shall receive
equal payments over 20 years totaling the amount determined for
reimbursement under subsections (a) and (b).
(d) Adjustment factor.--Beginning July 1, 2020, the
adjustment factor shall be zero.
Section 2607-J. School entity education.
The Department of Labor and Industry shall make information
available to school entities to help them understand the
difference between "public work" and "maintenance work" based on
industry standards and the act of August 15, 1961 (P.L.987,
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No.442), known as the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act.
Section 2608-J. Applicability.
This article shall apply to projects for which approval and
reimbursement is sought after the effective date of this
section.
Section 2609-J. Guidelines.
The department shall issue guidelines for the administration
of this article not later than March 31, 2020.
Section 2. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) The addition of Article XX-I and section 2602-J(c)
of the act and this section shall take effect immediately.
(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1,
2020, or immediately, whichever is later.
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