CASD Qualified for No Interest School Construction Bond

CLEARFIELD – Sam Maney, business manager, announced that the Clearfield Area School District was qualified for a no interest Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) at Monday’s combined committee and board meeting.

Maney said the district was one of four that qualified in Clearfield County. He said they were one of only 100 that qualified statewide.

Maney said that the Pennsylvania Department of Education has received $315 million for allocation. He said those schools, which are qualified, will apply for the funding first.

“(But) there is more need than money,” he said.

He said if the district received the funding, it must all be used for building-related construction or rehabilitation. He said if they receive an allocation, they would likely use it for high school renovations.

According to the United States Department of Education Web site, the bonds are a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. It states that the ARRA makes allocations available to each state. Other separate allocations are also given for large educational agencies.

It states that there is a national qualified school construction bond limitation for each calendar year. It states that the limitation is $11 billion annually for both the 2009 and 2010 calendar years.

It states further that of the aforementioned amount, 60 percent must be distributed by determining the individual amount of local education grants each state receives under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, according to the USDE Web site.

However, it stated that the Secretary of the Treasury can adjust the annual allocations among the states.

As a result, it guarantees each state receives the aggregate of its allocations under the 60 percent allocation. In addition, it also guarantees that any to large educational agencies within the states is not less than a minimum percentage.

Under this section, if an amount allocated to the states is unused for a calendar year, it may be carried forward by the state to the next calendar year.

According to the USDE Web site, the remaining 40 percent must be used for the nation’s top 100 local, largest education agencies. It states that a large, local educational agency is defined as any if it is:

* among the one hundred local educational agencies with the largest number of children aged 5 through 17 from families living below the poverty level, as determined by the Treasury.

* one of not more than twenty-five additional local educational agencies that the Secretary of Education determines are in particular need of assistance, based on a low level of resources for school construction, a high level of enrollment growth or such other factors as the Treasury deems appropriate.

It stated that if any amount allocated to a large local educational agency is unused for a calendar year, the agency may reallocate such amount to the state in which the agency is located.

Maney said the funding must be spent within a three-year time period that begins on the day it’s issued.

Maney said the QSCB were competitive and an application must be on file by February 2010. He said the state hasn’t released any application information as of yet.

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