On May 11, the Virginia Board of Education reviewed and approved $365 million in state funding for 40 school construction projects in 28 school divisions through the School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP). This is the first award of funding through SCAP, which was created through the 2022 Special Session I of the General Assembly. $400 million in General Funds was appropriated for the program in addition to $50 million from the Literary Fund for a total of $450 million in funding. VACo supported the enacting legislation and budget language.
The Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) was directed by the General Assembly 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.
In addition to the infusion of General Funds and Literary Fund for FY 2023, additional and ongoing funding for SCAP will be achieved through a portion of casino gaming revenues collected by the Commonwealth through the Gaming Proceed Fund. Given that the cost of renovating and replacing all schools in Virginia that are 50 years old or older has been estimated to cost $25 billion, this is a welcome infusion of funding.
VBOE also set a thirty-day review period for school divisions to ensure their calculations are correct and additional review criteria for technical matters. Once this review period is concluded, VBOE will reopen the application process to distribute the remaining $86 million in funding for FY 2023. A list of projects that were awarded funding can be found here.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett