california’s funding framework

The information in this section was pulled from a primer on joint use from the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Joint Use School Partnerships in California: Strategies to Enhance Schools and Communities, a joint report from the Center for Cities and Schools and Change Lab Solutions.

Since 1996, the state has allocated nearly $190 million for joint use projects. Currently, funding is limited to capital-related expenses for the construction or modernization of gymnasiums, libraries, child care facilities, teacher education facilities and multipurpose rooms.

State funding since 1996

  • Proposition 203: Passed in 1996, it authorized the state to sell $3 billion in general obligations bonds to help pay for public school construction and a wide variety of school capital outlay purposes. Up to $25 million of that was allocated to funding joint use projects.
  • Proposition 47: Passed in 2002, these bond funds included $50 million for joint-use projects. As of June 2008, $45.8 million have been released for 57 projects.
  • Proposition 55: Passed in 2004, this bond measure included $59 million for joint-use funding. As of June 2008, $47.3 million had been released for 63 projects.
  • Proposition 1D: Passed in 2006, it provided $29 million in joint use funding and authorized the transfer of $21 million more from other bond sources, for a total of $50 million. As of June 2008, $15.7 million funds were released to fund 56 projects.

Joint use funds derived from these state general obligation bonds can only pay for a portion of construction or modernization costs. The state’s maximum contribution to the construction of a joint use facility is $1 million for an elementary school project, $1.5 million for a middle school project, and $2 million for a high school project. Funding amounts are distributed based on the number of students expected to enroll that cannot be served in existing space. Supplemental grants are available based on specific criteria including the district’s geographic location and size. Supplemental funding cannot exceed the capped amounts, but can be used to reach them if the square footage apportionment does not climb to the cap.

Other joint use funding sources

  • Local general obligation bonds: School districts use these bonds to match the state required contribution for school construction projects. Local bonds must be approved by 55 percent of the vote within the district. They are repaid using local property tax revenue. Local bonds have raised $41 billion in the past decade.
  • Development fees: Schools can levy fees on new residential, commercial and industrial developments.
  • Special Mello-Roos funds: These funds allow school districts to form special districts to sell bonds for school construction projects. They require 2/3 voter approval and are paid off by property owners in the special district. These bonds have produced $3.7 billion in the past decade.
  • Program funding: After-school and other programs can be a catalyst for joint use partnerships. For example, in 2002 California voters passed Proposition 49, the After School Grants Program. This initiative required that $550 million be automatically appropriated toward funding before and after-school programs.


To be eligible for funding, the joint use partnership must be between a school district and a government agency, public community college, public college, public university, or non-profit organization approved by the State Allocation Board. Both the school district and its joint use partner must contribute matching funds.

For more information on joint use funding in California, contact Martin Martinez, Policy Director
, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network at 510-832-1175
 or; or Manal J. Aboelata, Program Director, Prevention Institute at 323-296-5750 or

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