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Revised applications for the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund now available

The following is a press release from Public Schools of North Carolina

Revised applications for funding through the new Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund are now available, and the application deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. on Oct. 16. Language in Senate Bill 582, passed by the General Assembly last week and signed into law Sunday, clarified that the grant funds may be used only for construction of new school buildings.

The revised applications are available at Awards will be announced by Nov. 1, as originally planned. 

The fund — more than $100 million over the next two years — was provided by the General Assembly to assist lower-wealth counties with their critical public school building capital needs. For this year and next year, funding will be available only to Tier 1 counties. In later years, Tier 2 counties will also be eligible.

The funds are capped at $15 million per project in Tier 1 counties, and the law requires a local match of $1 for every $3 in grant funds. 

A second round of grants will be awarded by Sept. 30, 2018, with an application deadline of Aug. 31. This timeline is intended to address already identified critical capital needs with a sense of urgency, while allowing counties in earlier planning stages adequate time to apply as well.

Provided by revenue from the state lottery, the fund totals $30 million this fiscal year and $75 million in fiscal year 2018-19. Under the law, awards will be based on the following criteria: 

  1. Counties designated as development Tier 1 areas
  2. Counties with greater need and less ability to generate sales tax and property tax revenue
  3. Counties with a high debt-to-tax revenue ratio
  4. The extent to which a project will address critical deficiencies in adequately serving the current and future student population.

EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.