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Construction of a Facility
 
A charter school may construct a school facility within the limitations described below.
 
 
 1. Use of funds.                  A charter school may construct a facility with state or local funds.  Charter schools, however, are not eligible for reimbursement from the Commonwealth on construction projects.
     
 2. Nature of facility.     A charter school must limit construction work to its school facilities and may not include non-school facilities in a construction project.
     
 3. Health and Safety.   24 P.S. 17-1722-A(b) requires a charter school to comply with facility laws and regulations that pertain to the health or safety of pupils.  To insure that charter schools have taken into account the health and safety of students and staff when planning construction projects, a charter school is required to submit PDE-397 (PDF) to the Division of School Facilities, Pennsylvania Department of Education prior to beginning construction.

 
 
Renovation of a Facility

A charter school may renovate owned facilities.  24 P.S. 17-1722-A(b) requires a charter school to comply with facility laws and regulations that pertain to the health or safety of pupils.  To insure that charter schools have taken into account the health and safety of students and staff when planning construction projects, a charter school is required to submit PDE-397 to the Division of School Facilities, Pennsylvania Department of Education prior to beginning construction.



Lease of a Facility

A charter school may lease property from public or private entities.  In the event that a facility is being constructed or renovated in order to lease it to the charter school, however, that construction or renovation may be subject to certain restrictions.  See the Facilities (PDF) attachment for detailed information.

Pursuant to 24 P.S. §17-1715-A(1)), charter schools and their contractors are subject to certain statutes governing construction-related work.  See Facilities (PDF) attachment.  Charter schools are advised to contact the Department of Education, Division of School Facilities, other state agencies, such as the Pennsylvania Departments of Labor and Industry, Transportation and Environmental Protection, and local municipalities with jurisdiction over school construction prior to undertaking any projects to ensure their compliance with law and regulation.  In addition, 24 P.S. 17-1722-A(b) requires a charter school to comply with facility laws and regulations that pertain to the health or safety of pupils.   To insure that charter schools have taken into account the health and safety of students and staff when planning construction projects, a charter school is required to submit form PDE-397 to the Division of School Facilities, Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Section 2574.3 of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, provides reimbursement for leases of buildings or portions of buildings for charter school use, which have been approved by the Secretary of Education on or after July 1, 2001.  The approved reimbursable annual rental for approved leases of buildings or portions of buildings for charter school use is the lesser of (i) the annual rental payable under the provisions of the approved lease agreement, or (ii) the product of the charter school facility’s enrollment times a legislated dollar amount based on the type of school.  The subsidy paid equals the approved reimbursable annual rental multiplied by the aid ratio for a charter school.  Further guidance on the charter school facility lease program is available from the Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management, Division of School Facilities, which is responsible for administering this program.


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For more information:
 
Division of School Facilities
Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management