By Lucio                                              S.B. No. 1508
         77R3701 KKA-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the public education facilities assistance fund.
 1-4           SECTION 1.  Subtitle I, Title 2, Education Code, is amended
 1-5     by adding Chapter 47 to read as follows:
 1-7           Sec. 47.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
 1-8                 (1)  "Fund" means the public education facilities
 1-9     assistance fund created under Section 3a, Article VII, Texas
1-10     Constitution.
1-11                 (2)  "Instructional facility" has the meaning assigned
1-12     by Section 46.001.
1-13           Sec. 47.002.  FUND.  (a)  The fund consists of amounts
1-14     transferred under Section 3a, Article VII, Texas Constitution,
1-15     gifts or grants accepted by the commissioner under Subsection (d),
1-16     and interest, dividends, and other income earned from the
1-17     investment of the fund.
1-18           (b)  Distributions from the fund may be made without
1-19     appropriation in the manner provided by this chapter and Section
1-20     3a, Article VII, Texas Constitution, and may be used only for the
1-21     purposes stated in that section.
1-22           (c)  The commissioner shall administer the fund and shall
1-23     provide for investment of the fund in the same manner as the
1-24     permanent school fund.  The commissioner may pay reasonable
 2-1     administrative expenses from the income of the fund, not to exceed
 2-2     an amount authorized by the General Appropriations Act.
 2-3           (d)  The commissioner shall solicit and may accept gifts or
 2-4     grants from any public or private source for the fund.
 2-5           Sec. 47.003.  FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.  (a)  The commissioner by
 2-6     rule shall establish a grant program to assist school districts in
 2-7     the acquisition of land, improvements to land, and capital
 2-8     equipment for instructional purposes.  Grants may be provided for:
 2-9                 (1)  the purchase and equipment of instructional
2-10     facilities that complied with the requirements of Subchapter A,
2-11     Chapter 46, but did not receive state assistance under that
2-12     subchapter;
2-13                 (2)  small improvements to instructional facilities for
2-14     which the issuance of debt that could qualify for state assistance
2-15     under Subchapter A, Chapter 46, is impracticable;
2-16                 (3)  renovation or replacement of an instructional
2-17     facility due to fire, natural disaster, or other unanticipated
2-18     occurrence;
2-19                 (4)  costs of temporary facilities made necessary by
2-20     loss of an instructional facility due to fire, natural disaster, or
2-21     other unanticipated occurrence; and
2-22                 (5)  other significant instructional facilities needs,
2-23     as determined by commissioner rule.
2-24           (b)  The commissioner, in determining the amount and award of
2-25     a grant under this section, shall consider:
2-26                 (1)  the property wealth per student of the school
2-27     district;
 3-1                 (2)  the condition of the district's instructional
 3-2     facilities;
 3-3                 (3)  the rate of growth of the district during the
 3-4     preceding five school years; and
 3-5                 (4)  if applicable, the availability of insurance or
 3-6     other funds to apply to instructional facilities lost or damaged by
 3-7     fire, natural disaster, or other unanticipated occurrence.
 3-8           (c)  The commissioner may require a local commitment of funds
 3-9     as a condition of a grant under this section.
3-10           (d)  The commissioner shall develop an application process
3-11     that allows qualifying school districts to apply for assistance for
3-12     the same project under both this section and Subchapter A, Chapter
3-13     46.
3-14           (e)  From amounts available for distribution from the fund,
3-15     the comptroller shall distribute to school districts amounts from
3-16     the fund in accordance with grants awarded by the commissioner.
3-17           SECTION 2.  (a)  This Act takes effect on January 1, 2002,
3-18     but only if the constitutional amendment creating the public
3-19     education facilities assistance fund is approved by the voters.  If
3-20     that amendment is not approved by the voters, this Act has no
3-21     effect.
3-22           (b)  If this Act takes effect under Subsection (a) of this
3-23     section, the commissioner of education shall adopt the rules
3-24     required by Section 47.003, Education Code, as added by this Act,
3-25     not later than September 1, 2002.