Federal School Bond Opportunities
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has made available expanded
bond opportunities for school districts that include Qualified Zone Academy
Bonds (QZABs) and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs). These
programs can provide interest free bonds to schools for construction,
rehabilitation, repair, energy saving renovations, teacher training and land
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds
A QZAB is a taxable interest free bond issued by a school district. The proceeds of a QZAB may be used to rehabilitate or repair certain eligible public schools. A QZAB, however, may not be used to acquire or construct new public schools. The school district must have received a commitment from a private business to contribute to the public school certain equipment, property, services or cash with a value equal to at least 10% of the principal amount of the QZAB. Further, the eligible public school must be located either in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community, or have reasonable expectation that at least 35% of the students attending such school will be eligible for free or reduced cost lunches. Federal law provides a limitation on the amount of QZABs that may be issued for each calendar year by each state. In Washington, OSPI allocates the amount of QZABs to eligible school districts.
Qualified School Construction Bonds
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the funding for the Qualified Energy Conservation Bond program. Washington State Department of Commerce will be allocating authority for approximately $68 million of bonds through this program. Energy conservation capital projects and public education campaigns are eligible to be financed with this type of bond.
State Department of Commerce for more information.