The School Facilities Division oversees the capital needs of K-12 school districts and administers funding for building renewal.
The Division continues to prioritize the health and safety of Arizona's school communities through its designated state programs and services for school facilities, and to support the seven-member School Facilities Oversight Board (SFOB) with its responsibilities under the law for new construction and relevant guidelines.
Quality school facilities, the standard in Arizona.
Create and improve learning spaces for Arizona’s future.
In 1994, Arizona’s system of school capital finance was declared unconstitutional because it failed to conform to the state constitution’s “general and uniform” clause. That system relied on the secondary property tax, driven by the property wealth of a school district, and general obligation bonding. In 1996, the Arizona Superior Court imposed on the state a deadline of June 30, 1998 to develop a constitutional system of school capital finance or risk closure of K-12 public schools. On July 9, 1998 Governor Jane Dee Hull signed legislation that dramatically reformed the way K-12 schools are constructed in Arizona. This ended the four-year legal and legislative battle and established Arizona as the nation’s school finance reform leader. This legislation/law is known as Students FIRST (Fair and Immediate Resources for Students Today), a capital finance program funded by appropriations from the State General Fund.
In November 1999, the then nine-person “School Facilities Board” appointed by the Governor adopted Building Adequacy Guidelines, also known as the “Minimum Adequacy Guidelines (MAG)”, which now serve as the baseline standards for existing and new school facilities in Arizona. These guidelines were recently updated through the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council and its rulemaking process and published in Arizona Administrative Code in February 2023.
The School Facilities Division is required to validate adjacent projects that are proposed by school districts which exceed a cost of $50,000.
The Building Renewal Grant (BRG) program was established for the purpose of maintaining the adequacy of existing school facilities. Public school districts can apply for these monies for repairs and renovations when their buildings have eligible deficiencies. Common examples of BRG projects are heating and cooling repairs, water heater replacements, and roofing repairs.
New School Facilities
This program was established for the purpose of constructing new school buildings to address growing enrollment across the state. Public school districts are eligible for monies based on annual evaluation and approval of average daily membership (ADM) projections and the additional square footage that will be needed to maintain adequacy standards in a district. Land costs are funded in addition to formula funding for new construction. The Division and the SFOB utilize a capital planning process in partnership with public school districts to approve funding for new construction.
School Building Inspections
The School Facilities Division is required to inspect, contract with a third party to inspect, or certify school district self-inspections of each school building designated as academic space within a public school district at least once every five years to ensure compliance with the building adequacy standards, also known as Minimum Adequacy Guidelines, prescribed in A.R.S. § 41-5711.
Last Updated: 07/28/2023