OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Education System

Educational Facilities

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the program is to establish and maintain educational plants that will provide for public educational needs throughout the state, including for public school districts, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, public colleges, state universities, the Division of Blind Services, and Public Broadcasting. An educational plant is composed of the educational facilities, site, and site improvements necessary to accommodate students, faculty, administrators, staff, and the activities of the educational programs.

How many public schools are in the K-12 system?

As of the 2019-20 school year, Florida had 3,665 traditional public schools (including university research schools) and 675 charter schools. Information on the number of K-12 schools by type and by district can be found on the Florida Department of Education website.

How many colleges and public universities are there in Florida?

The Florida College System is composed of 28 colleges and the State University System is comprised of 12 public state universities. Each institution may have multiple campuses and centers with numerous buildings.

What is the state's role in the program?

Section 1013.02, Florida Statutes, establishes the State Board of Education's and Board of Governors' responsibilities related to the educational facilities program. In general, the department is responsible for providing oversight and accountability of the facilities programs for school districts and the Florida College System. The Board of Governors provides oversight and accountability for the State University System's facilities programs. Department and Board of Governors' staff also provide technical assistance and training to school districts, colleges, and universities.  For instance, staff review and approve educational plan surveys and capital improvement plans submitted by school districts and postsecondary institutions and provide training on the State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF).  

In addition, the Department of Education allocates and distributes capital outlay funds for K-12 projects and is responsible for reviewing and approving the individual school district five-year work plans, which contain funding requests for construction and maintenance projects. Other state responsibilities include establishing building codes and standards, providing training and technical assistance on building code interpretation, and maintaining state space inventories.

In addition, the Board of Governors has adopted guidelines for universities to enter into public-private partnerships. The board uses these guidelines as a framework to review proposals for public-private partnerships involving a university or direct support organization (DSO).

What is the role of the local education agency (school district, college, or university) in the program?

School boards (for school districts) and boards of trustees (for Florida colleges and universities) are responsible for all aspects of facility construction and maintenance. These responsibilities include planning, approving each project's scope, budgeting, site acquisition, procuring design/construction contracts, ensuring compliance with building codes, obtaining building construction inspections, maintaining building inventories, and performing annual sanitation and casualty safety inspections. School districts and postsecondary institutions must also work cooperatively with local government entities to coordinate facilities planning and site selection programs. The location of new school sites must be consistent with the local comprehensive plan.  Other responsibilities include conducting an educational plant survey every five years to identify facility needs and submitting five-year facility work plans annually (school districts) to match resources to those needs.  Each public university and state college must submit a capital improvement plan annually outlining its capital needs.

What is the SREF?

The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) is a uniform statewide building code for the planning and construction of public educational and ancillary plants, which is adopted by the Florida Building Commission as part of the Florida Building Code. District school boards and Florida College System institution boards of trustees are required to adhere to the SREF when planning and constructing educational facilities and ancillary plants.

What is the Special Facilities Construction Account?

The Special Facilities Construction Account provides construction funds to school districts that have urgent construction needs but lack sufficient resources and have no reasonable expectation of raising the needed funds over the next three years from authorized sources of capital outlay revenue.

What is PECO?

Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) is the primary state funding source for educational facilities. Established in Article XII, Section 9(a)(2), Constitution of the State of Florida, PECO includes revenue from the state gross receipts tax, specifically the tax on the gross receipts from the sale of electricity, gas, and communications services (cable, cell phones, and land lines). PECO revenues have historically funded construction and maintenance of educational facilities for the State University System, Florida College System, and the K-12 System.

The Florida Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research details the PECO estimating process and the dynamic relationship between the tax source that funds the program and the amount available for appropriation.

How are these activities funded?

The Legislature appropriates funding to the K-20 system to construct, maintain, repair, renovate, and remodel educational facilities as shown below.
Note: The total figure shown for fixed capital outlay is overstated. This is because three items are added twice to the total. Funding from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for the Classrooms First and 1997 School Capital Outlay Bond Programs, Debt Service-Class Size Reduction Lottery Capital Outlay Program, and Educational Facilities is transferred to the Lottery Capital Outlay and Debt Services Trust Fund, but the transfer is not reflected in Transparency Florida until after the end of the fiscal year.

The Legislature also grants spending authority to administer capital outlay programs such as debt service. These programs include Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO), Capital Outlay and Debt Service (CO&DS), Classrooms First, and Classrooms for Kids.
  • K-12. The primary state source of funds for maintenance and construction of K-12 educational plants is PECO funds. Other sources of state funding for the K-12 system include CO&DS funds and bonds supported by Educational Enhancement Trust Funds (EETF). The primary local source of funding for the K-12 system is the non-voted local capital improvement 1.50 millage levy on real property. Other sources of local funding require voter approval and include local bond referendums and the ½ cent sales surtax. Impact fees on new development and certificates of participation (COPs) are other local funding sources and do not require voter approval.
  • Florida College System and State University System. PECO funds account for most of the state funding for maintenance and construction of postsecondary education facilities.The State University System and Florida College System institutions may also charge student capital improvement fees in addition to tuition to help finance student-related fixed capital outlay projects such as student unions. In addition, postsecondary institutions may pay for fixed capital outlay projects using funds not subject to legislative appropriation.These include projects financed by direct support organizations such as foundations, and those financed by revenue bonds for which proceeds from activities, such as housing, parking, dining, retail, and athletic programs, are pledged to satisfy the debt.Although the Legislature must approve these capital projects, they are not subject to the legislative budget request development policy guidelines. An institution's board of trustees may use one or a combination of the sources to fund a single project. The use of a particular revenue source may depend on the authority granted by the board of trustees.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Salary Rate/ Position General Revenue Trust Funds
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
CLASSROOMS FIRST AND 1997 SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY BOND PROGRAMS - OPERATING FUNDS AND DEBT SERVICE
FROM EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
DEBT SERVICE - CLASS SIZE REDUCTION LOTTERY CAPITAL OUTLAY PROGRAM
FROM EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
FROM EDUCATIONAL ENHANCEMENT TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FEE PROJECTS
FROM CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS FEE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, RENOVATION, AND REMODELING
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
SURVEY RECOMMENDED NEEDS - PUBLIC SCHOOLS
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
FLORIDA COLLEGE SYSTEM PROJECTS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM PROJECTS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
SPECIAL FACILITY CONSTRUCTION ACCOUNT
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
DEBT SERVICE
FROM CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS FEE TRUST FUND
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
CLASSROOMS FIRST AND 1997 SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY BOND PROGRAMS - OPERATING FUNDS AND DEBT SERVICE
FROM LOTTERY CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICES TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
GRANTS AND AIDS - SCHOOL DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE
FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
DEBT SERVICE - CLASS SIZE REDUCTION LOTTERY CAPITAL OUTLAY PROGRAM
FROM LOTTERY CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICES TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
FROM LOTTERY CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICES TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
FLORIDA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND BLIND - CAPITAL PROJECTS
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
DIVISION OF BLIND SERVICES - CAPITAL PROJECTS
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
PUBLIC BROADCASTING PROJECTS
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
PUBLIC SCHOOL PROJECTS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL FACILITIES
FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE TRUST FUND
TOTAL
0
1,718,058,621

Updates

PECO Funds.  The 2020 Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-117, Laws of Florida, which modifies s. 1001.03, Florida Statutes, to replace the existing sufficient excess PECO funds criterion for a specified new construction, remodeling, or renovation project to be added to the priority list. The law changes the criterion to specify that a Florida College System project may only be included on the priority list if there is sufficient capacity within the cash and bonding estimate of funds by the Revenue Estimating Conference to accommodate the project within the three-year PECO funding cycle. This modification aligns the requirements for new Florida College System projects to be considered on the priority list with those for State University System projects.

Florida Colleges and State Universities Public Education Capital Outlay. The 2019 Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-103, Laws of Florida (SB 190) which requires the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors to develop and submit a prioritize list of capital projects that should consider the top two priority projects of each Florida College System Institution and state university.  In addition, the boards must develop a points-based prioritization method, requiring weighted values within the point scale to rank projects based on specified criteria.  The law further requires the boards to maintain a list of capital outlay projects for which state funds have been appropriated but which have not been completed.  Finally, the law requires the boards to review their space need calculation methodologies and present summary and preliminary recommendations to the Legislature by October 31, 2019, and every three years thereafter. 

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's State University System, Report 20-SUSFACI, February 2020
Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's College System, Report 20-FCSFACI, June 2020
The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) Should Be Retained; Some Modifications Could Be Made, Report 17-04, January 2017

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Review and Adjustment for Florida's Cost Per Student Station, Florida Department of Education and Florida Legislative Office of Economic and Demographic Research, January 2020.
Fact Books, State University System of Florida.
Websites of Interest
University Plant Surveys and Current Projects
Five-Year School District Educational Work Plans
Florida Educational Facilities Planners' Association
State Requirements for Educational Facilities
PECO Revenue Estimating Conference
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for universities may be found in the Board of Governor's strategic plan and accountability reports and for the Department of Education in its Long Range Program Plan.
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 1013, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Chris Kinsley, Board of Governors, Finance and Facilities, 850-245-9607, email:  chris.kinsley@flbog.edu
Department of Education, Office of Educational Facilities, 850-245-0494
Board of Governors
Department of Education