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Division of Capital Construction Grant Programs

Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST)

Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S.22-43.7, BEST provides an annual amount of funding in the form of competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.

Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Emergency Grant

The Division has available an established amount of funding for public school facility emergencies. If an unanticipated event renders a significant portion or the entirety of a public school facility unusable for educational purposes, or poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of persons using the public school facility, that school may be eligible for a BEST Emergency Grant. Additionally, if the Governor declares by executive order or proclamation, a disaster emergency in any area of the state pursuant to section 24-33.5-704 (4), C.R.S., the Division shall contact each affected school facility in any area of the state to assess any facility needs resulting from the declared disaster emergency as soon as possible following the Governor's declaration. The Division must report its findings to the Capital Construction Assistance Board as soon as possible following its outreach.

If your school facility is experiencing an emergency as defined in this section, you may be eligible to receive a BEST Emergency Grant. For more information, contact Andy Stine

Charter School Capital Construction (CSCC
Each year, the Legislature provides an appropriation to charter schools on a per pupil basis for capital construction needs. The funding can be used for construction, demolition, remodeling, maintaining, financing, purchasing or leasing of facilities the charter operates.  A qualifying charter must complete and submit a questionnaire in order to be eligible to receive this funding.

Facility Insight
In July 2016, the Division of Capital Construction reinstated the Statewide Facility Assessment Program for Colorado public school facilities. It  is now called Facility Insight. Understanding the purpose of Facility Insight and its benefits will  provide a strong partnership amongst schools, districts, and the state.

Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) (program currently suspended)
The QZAB program is a way for school districts to obtain interest-free financing for renovation, repair projects, and other construction needs. The Colorado Department of Education does not provide funding, but provides authorization for a school district to obtain the interest-free financing if the school district qualifies.

Full Day Kindergarten Grant Program (FY2020 Grant Round Only)
CDE is asking superintendents to complete a survey from CDE by Wednesday, June 12 that will serve a few purposes: completing required reporting to CDE on district plans for implementing full-day kindergarten, applying for the formula-based grant through HB 19-1005, and enabling CDE to assess the implementation needs across the state. 
 
CDE has sent informational letters to superintendents, fiscal leads, and Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) directors regarding implementation actions needed with respect to House Bill 19-1262 and House Bill 19-1055.  HB 19-1262 provides funding for full-day kindergarten should districts choose to offer it, and HB 19-1055 provides $25 million in formula-based grants related to conducting full-day kindergarten or preschool educational programs.
 
House Bill 19-1055 provides $25 million in formula-based grants to districts or institute charter schools for the purpose of acquiring furniture, fixtures, or other fixed or moveable equipment (excluding construction equipment) that is needed to conduct a full-day kindergarten education program or a preschool educational program.  All expenditures must meet the definition of furniture, fixture and equipment pursuant to the Financial Policies and Procedures Chart of Accounts and be coded to Object Code 0730-0739.

More information is available at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/schoolreadiness/kindergarten. This includes a link to a spreadsheet entitled “Full-Day Kindergarten Formula Based Grant Funding for FFE”. This spreadsheet contains two allocation estimates to provide districts with a general idea of the district’s prorated share of this grant funding. The estimates are based upon the total kindergarten counts for the 2018-2019 school year. One estimate assumes no half-day programs transition to full-day programs, the second assumes all half-day programs transition to full-day programs. The formula-based grant amounts will be updated in July to reflect estimated kindergarten counts for the 2019-2020 school year.

For additional information, please contact Andy Stine: stine_a@cde.state.co.us