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Article 2. Project Selection and Grant Awards   

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In any fiscal year in which funds are appropriated for technology installation grants for the Digital High School Education Technology Grant Program, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall administer the application process for the award of grants as follows:

(a) Six groups shall be created as follows for the purpose of establishing funding categories:

(1) Four groups shall consist of all unified and high school districts in the state, that have a total district enrollment in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in October of the prior fiscal year, of more than 200 pupils. The school districts shall be grouped into quartiles based upon the districts' enrollment in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in October of the prior fiscal year, excluding the enrollment in high schools having fewer than 201 pupils, but including the enrollment in any high school having fewer than 201 pupils when that high school is located on the same property as, on a site adjacent to, or across the street from, a comprehensive high school. Each quartile shall include roughly the same number of pupils, but no school district shall be split between quartiles.

(2) Excluding schools having an enrollment of less than 201 pupils that have been included in the enrollment of a comprehensive high school in the quartiles established pursuant to paragraph (1), the fifth group shall consist of schools having an enrollment in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in October of the prior fiscal year, of no more than 200 pupils. Schools operated by county offices of education shall not be included in the fifth group.

(3) The sixth group shall consist of schools operated by county offices of education that enroll pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive.

(b) The superintendent shall divide the funds appropriated for technology installation grants in a fiscal year among the six groups on the basis of equal dollars per pupil in enrollment in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in October of the prior fiscal year.

(c) School districts and county offices of education shall submit eligibility applications for high schools seeking an installation grant to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to determine initial eligibility. A high school shall be granted initial eligibility by the Superintendent of Public Instruction if, in its application, the governing board of the school district or county office of education certifies its commitment to meeting program requirements, including the local match requirements related to a technology installation grant for the high school. This is the only criterion that shall be applied to determine initial eligibility.

(d) (1) Each school district and county office of education shall submit to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, no later than 45 days after the annual Budget Act has been enacted for the fiscal year, a list of schools under its jurisdiction that have met the initial eligibility requirement and an estimate of each listed school's October enrollment for the current year. Schools shall be listed in order of priority for funding. A school district that has schools in the fifth group shall separately list those schools in order of funding priority. Any locally determined method of prioritizing schools, including a random draw, may be used.

(2) The superintendent shall identify from the applicants all schools in each group that meet the initial eligibility requirement. A school district or county office of education may appeal to the State Board of Education, on behalf of a school, a disapproval of initial eligibility.

(e) Within each of the six groups and from all school districts and county offices of education that have schools that have been granted initial eligibility, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall select school districts or county offices of education for funding eligibility by random drawing, one by one, until all funds available for allocation within the group are allocated, except that 5 percent of the funds shall be held in reserve and not allocated until the October enrollments have been certified. In making the random selection within groups, school districts and county offices of education shall be weighted according to the number of schools on their priority lists of initial eligibility. Funds shall be allocated to schools in accordance with the priority list submitted by the school district or county office of education. The amount of funds allocated to a school shall be based on current year enrollment and as determined pursuant to Section 52260 and criteria established pursuant to Section 52254.

(f) Schools selected pursuant to subdivision (e) to be eligible for funding shall have funds set aside for them to be allocated based on final approval by the State Board of Education pursuant to subdivision (h). Schools that are eligible for funds shall receive those funds only if the requirements of subdivisions (g) and (h) are met.

(g) Each school selected pursuant to subdivision (e) to be eligible for funding shall develop a project application as required pursuant to Section 52256 and in accordance with criteria developed pursuant to Section 52254. Upon request by a school district or county office of education, the existing technology regional consortia or the State Department of Education, or both, shall provide technical assistance to school districts and county offices of education in the development of their initial eligibility and project applications. The regional consortia shall review and comment on the application submitted by the schools in their respective regions within 30 days of the date that it is submitted by the school. The school shall submit its application, with changes based on the comments of the regional consortia, to the Education Council for Technology in Learning. The application shall also include a certification by the governing board of the school district or county office of education that a majority of the certificated staff of the high school indicate their support for participation in the program established by this chapter.

(h) (1) Within 30 days of receiving an application from a school, the Education Council for Technology in Learning shall make a recommendation to the State Board of Education on whether to fund the application. If the council does not submit a recommendation to the board within 30 days, the school may submit its application directly to the board. If the council makes a recommendation that the application should not be funded, the council shall include the reasons in writing along with its recommendation.

(2) Within 30 days of receiving the recommendation from the Education Council for Technology in Learning or at its next regularly scheduled meeting after those 30 days, the State Board of Education shall make the final determination that a school's project application, submitted pursuant to subdivision (g), substantially meets the requirements of Section 52256 and the criteria developed pursuant to Section 52254 and that it shall be funded.

(3) The State Board of Education shall provide an applicant whose application has not been recommended for funding an opportunity to address any reasons given by the Education Council for Technology in Learning for that negative recommendation.

(i) If funds are available after the determinations made by the State Board of Education pursuant to subdivision (h), the procedures in subdivisions (e) to (h), inclusive, shall be followed to allocate the available funds and that process shall be repeated until all funds available in each fiscal year are exhausted.

(j) If the amount of funds appropriated for installation grants is insufficient to fully fund the last school chosen in a group for which any funds are available, the unfunded portion shall be funded first when any additional funds become available for installation grants.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 326, Sec. 1.)