Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S. 22-42.7, 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 an established amount of funding available for public school facility emergencies. A public school facility emergency means an unanticipated event that makes all or a significant portion 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.
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, as soon as possible following the declaration of the disaster emergency, contact each affected school facility in any area of the State in which the Governor declared the disaster emergency to assess any facility needs resulting from the declared disaster emergency. 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 Scott Newell.
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, financing, purchasing or leasing of facilities the charter operates. In FY12-13 six million dollars was appropriated to the charter schools and the institute charter schools. A qualifying charter must fill out a questionnaire in order to be eligible to receive this funding.
As a result of the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Act, the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Board (CCAB) conducted a Financial Assistance Priority Assessment of all public school facilities in Colorado for the period FY2009–2010 to address the considerations set forth in section C.R.S. 22-43.7-107.
The QZAB program is a way for school districts to obtain interest free financing for renovation, repair projects, and other needs. The Colorado Department of Education does not provide funding, but provides authorization to a school district to obtain the interest free financing if the school district qualifies.
Full-Day Kindergarten Facility Capital Construction (FDK) (Program currently suspended)
In SB07-199 the Legislature declared that full-day kindergarten (FDK) is an effective way of improving a child’s academic performance, but it was understood that school districts, charter school institute and Expeditionary BOCES may not be able to provide the facilities needed to implement a FDK program. To help fill this need the Legislature appropriated 35 million in FY08-09, with the passing of HB08-1388, to fund a new competitive grant program to provide grants or matching grants to school districts or institute charter schools that are undertaking capital construction projects to renovate a facility, rent a facility, or provide a temporary auxiliary facility that will be used in conjunction with providing a full-day kindergarten program.
For additional information, please contact the BEST Staff