Yuri Calderon Attorney | Santa Barbara School District School Construction

As shared by Yuri Calderon Attorney.

Yuri Calderon Attorney is well versed and highly experienced as a San Diego and Santa Barbara school district representative. He utilizes his time to support school construction, programs, developer negotiations, project management, and related school business issues. 

Yuri’s commitment to public education, integrity, and transparency is unmatched. His experience extends to providing chief business officer, legislative guidance, and support to the California public school districts, including Cold Spring School District. 

Yuri Calderon, Attorney at Law, is a graduate of the University of Denver and Georgetown University Law Center. 

School Construction 

The State of California has 1,000 plus school districts and county offices of education. Cold Springs School District is one of them, and like the rest, has a local education agency (LEA). 

Yuri Calderon explains that the LEA has broad discretion in developing school designs that conform with the educational programs’ needs and the community at large. Yuri adds that most school construction and modernization projects are undertaken using state funds. 

To ensure that state funds are used for intended purposes, approval for school construction is done by these state agencies: 

The California Department of Education CDE: The State Superintendent of Public Instruction runs this agency. The latter is a statewide elected constitutional officer. The agency is charged with reviewing, approving school sites and plans for student safety. 

The agency also oversees educational appropriateness based on the standards contained in the California Code of Regulations Title 5. The California Department of Education is mandated with developing standards by the Education Code Section 17251. 

The Office of Public School Construction (OPSC): the agency is located in the Department of General Services. The agency oversees the administration of state bond funds. 

As explained by Yuri Calderon Attorney, the Office of Public School Construction serves as the staff to the State Allocation Board. The ten-member body is charged with allocating funds to eligible new construction as well as modernization projects. 

The Division of the State Architect (DSA): a governor-appointed State Architect runs the agency. The division is located in the Department of General Services. The agency is charged with reviewing fire, seismic, life safety, and project accessibility. 

DSA approval is required of all school projects despite funding status, the only exception being a charter school cluster. California Local Education Agencies retain wide discretion in their school designs. 

However, they ensure that the school designs remain consistent with Title 5 standards. The California Department of Education sets up the standards recognizing the needs for local responsibility and flexibility. 

Derived from years of practice, common sense, and ideas from various educational and facility experts, the standards continue evolving. The minimum demand is student safety and educational appropriateness. 

1993, the State Board of Education first adopted the Title 5 standards; the last amendments were enacted in the year 2000. The Title 5 standards are grouped into three major categories including: 

Process: LEA board actions, local hearings, environmental proceedings

Quantifiable Standards: Site acreage and minimum classroom square footage

Performance Standards: Acoustical, parking, lighting, and circulation issues 

Yuri Calderon Attorney, Santa Barbara and San Diego school district representative, adds that given the above, schools across the state look different, thus the wide variation in school sites has led to the rise in state policy discussions of both equity and fiscal issues.