School Construction Assistance Program

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News & Announcements

SCAP FY24 Announcement

#2023-13 Virginia Education Update 28 September 2023

Training Resources

SCAP FY24 Information

November 28, 2023 is the deadline to apply for the School Construction Assistance Program FY2024 competitive grants. School divisions may apply for the second round of this competitive grant program in VDOE’s Single Sign-On Web Systems (SSWS) portal using the “SCAP” online application. Also available is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document in response to school division questions received during the grant application period.

As per the Board of Education guidance, the Competitive Application Criteria for SCAP FY24 will remain unchanged from the criteria used for scoring the first award phase. School divisions may apply for SCAP FY24 using the VDOE’s Single Sign-On Web Systems (SSWS) portal. Instructions and various additional guidance documents addressing issues about this award are located on the VDOE’s SCAP  webpage. Schools previously awarded in the first phase will not be eligible to receive grants in the SCAP FY24 phase.


Background

The School Construction Assistance Program was created at the 2022 Special Session I of the General Assembly through the 2022 Appropriation Act (i.e., Chapter 2, Item 137, Paragraph C.43). Item 137, Paragraph C.43. provides appropriations for the program in fiscal year 2023 of $400,000,000 from the general fund and $50,000,000 from the Literary Fund to be transferred into the School Construction Fund for the Board of Education (“Board”) to award grants on a competitive basis to local school boards that demonstrate poor building conditions, commitment, and need in order for such local school boards to be able to fund the construction, expansion, or modernization of public school buildings. Any unobligated appropriation balance for this program on June 30, 2023, must be reappropriated for expenditure in fiscal year 2024 for the same purpose. Detailed information was communicated to school divisions in Superintendent’s Memo 041-23.

SCAP FY24 Background

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has already awarded grants in the amount of $365,344,910 to qualifying school projects. A second grant application phase for award of the remaining funds designated as SCAP FY24 has been implemented using the same competitive grant criteria listed in the Board’s guidelines. Information on the FY2024 phase of SCAP grant was communicated to school divisions in Superintendent’s Newsletter #2023-13 Virginia Education Update 28 September 2023

Guidelines for Implementing the School Construction Assistance Program in the 2022-2024 Biennium

The Board of Education is required to develop guidelines for the administration of the program to include certain minimum requirements as established in these guidelines. The School Construction Grant Assistance Program funding is awarded based on competitive criteria through a school division application process. These guidelines establish the competitive criteria and criteria point values used in evaluating school division applications for awarding grant funding to eligible public school projects.

Application Requirements and Criteria 

Under this program, public school construction, additions, or major modernization/renovation projects meeting the following three criteria qualify to be submitted for funding through an online application: (i) those projects that are either in the local planning phase or already planned as documented in a currently-approved local Capital Improvement Plan (CIP); (ii) those projects that lack sufficient funding or financing to cover the full cost projected for the project; and (iii) those projects for which construction has not yet started. 

School divisions may also submit applications for grant funding for public school construction, additions, or major modernization/renovation projects in which construction began on or after July 1, 2022; such project applications are subject to all other competitive criteria, conditions, and requirements contained in the guidelines. 

Grants for awarded public school projects will be based on 10, 20, or 30 percent of approved project costs (project costs not to exceed $100,000,000 for purpose of grant funding), with the percentage determined by the school division’s local composite index and the fiscal stress category as designated by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent “Report on Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia’s Counties and Cities” for the locality that contains the school division. 

For the purpose of this program, “project costs” include reasonable and allowable project construction costs, including planning, design (architectural and engineering), site acquisition, construction phase costs involving the core building structure and related site work, but do not include most financing costs (such as closing costs, legal counsel and financial advisor costs, and annual debt service for principal and interest payments that has already begun to be paid), outdoor facilities predominantly used for extracurricular athletic activities, loose equipment, and furniture. However, the principal-only portion of future debt service payments not yet begun on school projects where construction is pending or just begun is an allowable project cost with grant funding when the school division can document that other allowable project costs were incurred during the construction phase in an amount at least equal to the amount of grant funds that would be applied towards future principal-only payments for the project. 

Application Process and Deadline 

To apply for these competitive grant funds, grant applications must be submitted online to VDOE no later than November 28, 2023. The online grant application and instructions can be accessed through VDOE’s Single Sign-On Web Systems (SSWS) portal using the School Construction Assistance Program (“SCAP”) application. School division staff who will submit the online application should work with their local SSWS administrator to gain access to the SCAP application in SSWS. 

All responses submitted by school divisions in the online application are subject to further verification and approval by VDOE. Applications not submitted by the March 31 deadline may be disqualified from funding consideration. The information submitted by school divisions in the SCAP application is only for those criteria for which VDOE does not already have information available. In responding to Criterion 1 regarding “project type” and Criteria 3 and 10 regarding “school building condition” in the online application, school divisions should refer to the “Project Type Definitions” and “School Building Condition Definitions” guides. These documents are located on the instruction page of the SCAP application in SSWS.  

School divisions applying for funding for a new school in the planning phase, or a new school project in the document preparation phase that have not yet obtained a school number from VDOE, must complete a Planned School Form so that the project can be identified as an eligible school project in SSWS and be scored using the competitive grant criteria listed in the Board’s guidelines. 

Please note that all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for school construction projects must be met for an application to be considered for grant funding. After the submitted applications are reviewed and scored against the criteria in the guidelines, recommendations for funding awards will be made to the Board in an action item presented at a monthly business meeting of the Board. All funding awards are subject to availability of funding.