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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 61SCHOOL DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER CCCOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SCHOOL FACILITIES
RULE §61.1032Instructional Facilities Allotment

(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply to the instructional facilities allotment (IFA) governed by this section:

  (1) Instructional facility--real property, an improvement to real property, or a necessary fixture of an improvement to real property that is used predominantly for teaching the curriculum required by Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.002.

  (2) Noninstructional facility--a facility that may occasionally be used for instruction, but the predominant use is for purposes other than teaching the curriculum required by TEC, §28.002.

  (3) Necessary fixture--equipment necessary to the use of a facility for its intended purposes, but which is permanently attached to the facility, such as lighting and plumbing.

  (4) Debt service--as used in this section, debt service shall include regularly scheduled payments of principal and interest that are made between September 1 and August 31 each year on general obligation bonded debt or the underlying bonded debt applicable to an eligible lease-purchase agreement as reported in the final official statement (FOS) or in the bond order, if the bonds are privately placed, to the state information depository. Debt service payments that are not reported to the state information depository are not eligible to receive IFA state assistance.

  (5) Allotment--the amount of eligible debt service that can be considered for state aid. The total allotment is made up of a combination of state aid and local funds. The state share and local share are adjusted annually based on changes in average daily attendance (ADA), property values, and debt service.

  (6) Interest rate management agreement--an agreement that provides for an interest rate transaction, including a swap, basis, forward, option, cap, collar, floor, lock, debt derivative transaction, or hedge transaction, for a transaction similar to those types of transactions, or for a combination of any of those types of transactions, as described in the Texas Government Code, §1231.001.

(b) Application process. A school district must complete a separate application requesting funding under the IFA for each debt issue or lease-purchase agreement proposed for funding. The commissioner of education may require supplemental information to be submitted at an appropriate time after the application is filed to reflect changes in amounts and conditions related to the debt. The application shall contain at a minimum the following:

  (1) a description of the needs and projects to be funded with the debt issue or other financing, with an estimate of cost of each project and a categorization of projects according to instructional and noninstructional facilities or other uses of funds;

  (2) a description of the debt issuance or other financing proposed for funding, including a projected schedule of payments covering the life of the debt;

  (3) an estimate of the weighted average maturity of bonded debt; and

  (4) drafts of official statements or contracts that fully describe the debt, as soon as available.

(c) District eligibility. All school districts legally authorized to enter into eligible debt arrangements as defined in subsection (d) of this section are eligible to apply for an IFA.

(d) Debt eligibility. In order to be eligible for state funding under this section, a debt service requirement must meet all of the criteria of this subsection.

  (1) The debt service must be an obligation of a school district that is entered into pursuant to the issuance of bonded debt under TEC, Chapter 45, Subchapter A; an obligation for refunding bonds as defined in TEC, §46.007; or an obligation under a lease-purchase agreement authorized by Local Government Code, §271.004.

  (2) Application for funding of bonded debt service must be received at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) before the date on which a district or its representatives price the bonds.

  (3) Application for funding of lease-purchase payments must be received at the TEA before the passage of an order by the school district board of trustees authorizing the lease-purchase agreement.

  (4) Eligible bonded debt must have a weighted average maturity of at least eight years. The term of a lease-purchase agreement must be for at least eight years. For purposes of this section, a weighted average maturity shall be calculated by dividing bond years by the issue price, where "bond years" is defined as the product of the dollar amount of bonds divided by 1,000 and the number of years from the dated date to the stated maturity, and "issue price" is defined as the par value of the issue plus accrued interest, less original issue discount or plus premium.

  (5) Funds raised by the district through the issuance of bonded debt must be used for an instructional facility purpose as defined by TEC, §46.001. The facility acquired by entering into a lease-purchase agreement must be an instructional facility as defined by TEC, §46.001.

  (6) If the bonded debt is for a refinancing or a combination of refinancing and new debt, the refinanced portion must meet the same eligibility criteria with respect to dates of first debt service as a new issue as defined by TEC, §46.003(d)(1). The method used for the allocation of debt service between qualified and nonqualified projects and between eligible and ineligible debt will be applied to the debt service schedule resulting from a refinancing of IFA-supported debt.

  (7) An amended application packet is required for any IFA-supported bonds or IFA-supported lease-purchase agreement that has undergone changes, including, but not limited to, refinancing, restatement, or any other transaction that materially affects the terms of the bonds or the terms of the lease-purchase agreement, including transactions that materially affect the terms of the underlying bonds. Amended application packets must be submitted to the TEA no later than 180 days following the date on which the transaction was approved by the attorney general, if the transaction required approval by the attorney general. If approval by the attorney general was not required, the amended application packet is due within 180 days of the date that the school board approved the transaction.

  (8) Failure to submit the amended application packet to the TEA division responsible for state funding within the 180-day period defined in paragraph (7) of this subsection will result in the suspension of IFA state aid payments for the applicable IFA allotment award. This suspension has the following effects.

    (A) Debt service payments associated with the applicable IFA allotment will be disqualified for IFA state aid upon expiration of the 180-day period defined in paragraph (7) of this subsection. Debt service payments made after the 180-day period expires will not earn IFA state aid.

    (B) IFA state aid associated with the applicable allotment will resume on the date the amended application packet, including any required supporting documentation, is received. The IFA state aid will be based on eligible debt service payments scheduled on or after the date the amended application packet is received.

    (C) Current and future IFA state aid payments may be adjusted to reflect the disqualified debt service payments. If no IFA state aid is due in a fiscal year that is affected by such an adjustment, a district will be notified about the disqualified amount and will be required to remit that amount to the TEA no later than 30 days after notification.

    (D) Unless otherwise requested, payments of IFA state aid based on the updated eligible debt service reported in the completed amended application packet shall be made with the payments due for the following fiscal year in accordance with TEC, §46.009(d).

  (9) Refunding bonds must also meet the following criteria, the first three of which are defined by TEC, §46.007.

    (A) Refunding bonds may not be called for redemption earlier than the earliest call date of the bonds being refunded.

    (B) Refunding bonds must not have a final maturity date later than the last day of the last fiscal year applicable to the final maturity date of the bonds being refunded.

    (C) The refinancing of bonds must result in a present value savings, which is determined by computing the net present value of the difference between each scheduled payment on the original bonds, or on the most recently approved debt service schedule, if the bonds have been previously modified, and each scheduled payment on the newly revised debt applicable to the modified bonds.

      (i) Present value savings for fixed rate bonds shall be computed at the true interest cost of the refinanced bonds.

      (ii) In a refinancing of variable rate bonds with fixed rate bonds, present value savings will be calculated based on:

        (I) an assumed interest rate for the variable rate bonds equal to the Municipal Market Data index (or other comparable index) of "AAA" general obligation tax-exempt bonds for the month in which the bonds were originally issued; and

        (II) the rate, if any, used to determine the amount deposited into a mandatory and irrevocable fund for the sole purpose of defeasing the bonds in a variable rate mode.

      (iii) In a refinancing of fixed rate bonds with variable rate bonds, present value savings will be calculated based on an assumed interest rate for the variable rate bonds equal to the ten-year average of the Municipal Market Data index (or other comparable index) of "AAA" general obligation tax-exempt bonds bearing interest in a variable rate mode comparable to the variable rate mode in which the refinanced bonds will be issued.

      (iv) The financial advisor to a district must certify the projected net present value savings for refinancing described in clause (ii) and (iii) of this subparagraph based on the parameters prescribed therein. The district's financial advisor to the refinancing transaction must sign and date the certification. The district must submit the certification to the TEA division responsible for state funding no later than 180 days after the date the refunding bonds were approved for sale by the attorney general if refunding bonds are issued. If refunding bonds are not issued, the district must submit the certification no later than 180 days after the refinancing transaction is approved by the school district board of trustees. The district must submit the certification in a format prescribed by the commissioner.

    (D) A conversion of the period, mode, or index used to determine the interest rate for eligible debt in accordance with the order authorizing the issuance or delivery of such eligible debt shall not be considered a refunding of eligible debt, and a district shall be eligible for state funding assistance based on the new debt service schedule contingent upon receipt of the required amended application packet as defined in paragraph (7) of this subsection.

    (E) Effective January 1, 2008, a district may refinance IFA-supported debt up to two times after the issuance of the original IFA-supported debt. Upon the third refinancing transaction, the TEA will evaluate the IFA-supported debt for conversion to the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA) program. Determination of eligibility for conversion will be based on the district's remaining capacity in the EDA program and the district's other IFA-supported debt. The TEA will notify the district of the results of this evaluation within 180 days of receiving notification of the third refinancing transaction involving an IFA-supported debt.

    (F) Debt that has been refinanced three or more times before January 1, 2008, will be evaluated for possible conversion and districts will be notified of the results of that evaluation no later than January 1, 2009. This subparagraph expires January 1, 2009.

  (10) Certain other refinanced debt may be eligible for the funding under this subsection.

    (A) When a district issues a general obligation bond to acquire a facility that is the subject of an existing lease-purchase agreement of the district or refinances an existing lease-purchase agreement with another lease-purchase agreement, the transaction is considered a refinancing of the lease-purchase agreement for purposes of continued participation in the IFA program. Any transactions affecting the lease-purchase agreement, including those that affect the underlying bonds, are subject to the amendment requirements and eligibility criteria specified in paragraphs (7) - (9) of this subsection, including the restrictions related to early redemption and extension of maturity dates, and the requirement for the refinancing transactions to produce present value savings.

    (B) A lease-purchase agreement in the IFA program that is refinanced with a general obligation bond or another lease-purchase agreement at a present value savings and without extension of the original term of the lease-purchase agreement shall remain part of the IFA program. Any transaction that reduces the term of the lease-purchase agreement to less than eight years will result in the disqualification of IFA state aid on debt service that is associated with the lease-purchase agreement, beginning with the date that the transaction is approved by the school district board of trustees.

    (C) Any portion of a bond issue that refinances a portion of a lease-purchase agreement that was originally ineligible for IFA funding shall remain ineligible. Ineligible debt includes refunded bonds that fail to meet the criteria under TEC, §46.007, and/or bonds used for purposes not meeting the definition of qualified projects as described in TEC, §46.001 and §46.002.

    (D) Any portion of a bond issue that refinances a portion of an original lease-purchase agreement that was eligible for IFA consideration but exceeded the IFA limit shall not be eligible for consideration in future funding cycles.

Cont'd...

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