Governor Expresses Support for Improved School Facility Assessment Process

Governor Mark Gordon has expressed his support for an updated and improved School Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) process. This process is used to help the School Facilities Division develop funding recommendations for various school facility projects across the state. The Governor noted that the new assessment creates an independent process that will allow school districts, the School Facilities Commission (SFC) and the Legislature’s Select Committee on School Facilities to equitably assess that school facilities are creating good learning environments for students.

“Our goal was to establish a fair and consistent process to ensure we make reasonable and evidence-based decisions for our students, that local districts are involved, and that together we are developing the most cost-effective remedies,” Governor Gordon said.

“The state’s ability to address school major maintenance and capital construction is impacted by numerous factors. This new assessment process will ensure that we are adequately addressing the needs of our school communities and effectively spending taxpayer dollars.”

The Governor said that the new FCA process will allow school districts to proactively plan for repair, renovation, or replacement of buildings. It also projects and forecasts the cost of future repairs and provides individualized reports for every district building that is assessed. This assessment improves on earlier efforts and provides more detailed and accurate information to guide the allocation of resources. 

The new assessment, combined with proposed rule changes, allows for a more proactive approach to identify condition and capacity needs. The proposed rule changes also provide greater opportunities for districts to present concerns to the SFC and participate in the processes that inform decision-making.  

In the 2022 Legislative Session, the Legislature appropriated $4 million for the new FCA. In his 2022 supplemental budget message, the Governor recognized that some schools may be approaching the need for a remedy and recommended  that results of that study be used to form a fair and orderly result for all districts. 

The SFC will vote on the emergency rules to implement the changes at its meeting on June 7-8 in Buffalo.