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123A.443 GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS.
    Subdivision 1. Qualification. Any group of districts or a consolidated district that meets
the criteria required under subdivision 2 may apply for an incentive grant for construction of a
new facility or for remodeling and improving an existing facility. A grant for new construction
must not exceed the lesser of $20,000,000, or 75 percent of the approved construction costs of a
cooperative education facility. A grant for remodeling and improving an existing facility must not
exceed the lesser of $10,000,000, or 75 percent of the approved remodeling costs.
    Subd. 2. Review by commissioner. (a) A group of districts or a consolidated district that
submits an application for a grant must submit a proposal to the commissioner for review and
comment under section 123B.71. The commissioner shall prepare a review and comment on the
proposed facility by July 1 of an odd-numbered year, regardless of the amount of the capital
expenditure required to acquire, construct, remodel or improve the facility. The commissioner
shall not approve an application for an incentive grant for any facility unless the facility receives a
favorable review and comment under section 123B.71 and the following criteria are met:
    (1) the applicant is a consolidated district or a minimum of two or more districts that have
entered into a joint powers agreement;
    (2) for a group of districts, a joint powers board representing all participating districts is
established under section 471.59 to govern the cooperative facility;
    (3) for a group of districts, no more than one superintendent is employed by the joint powers
board as a result of the cooperative facility agreement;
     (4) a statement of need is submitted, that may include reasons why the current facilities are
inadequate, unsafe, or inaccessible to persons with disabilities;
     (5) an educational plan is prepared, that includes input from both community and
professional staff;
     (6) for a group of districts, a combined seniority list for all participating districts is developed
by the joint powers board;
     (7) for a group of districts, an education program is developed that provides for more
learning opportunities and course offerings, including the offering of advanced placement courses,
for students than is currently available in any single member district;
     (8) a plan is developed for providing instruction of any resident students in other districts
when distance to the education facility makes attendance at the facility unreasonably difficult or
impractical; and
     (9) for a secondary facility, the joint powers board established under clause (2) discusses
with technical colleges located in the area how vocational education space in the cooperative
facility could be jointly used for secondary and postsecondary purposes.
    (b) To the extent possible, the joint powers board is encouraged to provide for severance
pay or for early retirement incentives under section 122A.48, for any teacher or administrator, as
defined under section 122A.40, subdivision 1, who is placed on unrequested leave as a result of
the cooperative facility agreement.
    (c) For the purpose of paragraph (a), clause (6), each district must be considered to have
started school each year on the same date.
    (d) The districts may develop a plan that provides for the location of social service, health,
and other programs serving pupils and community residents within the cooperative facility. The
commissioner shall consider this plan when preparing a review and comment on the proposed
facility.
    (e) The districts must schedule and conduct a meeting on library services. The school districts,
in cooperation with the regional public library system and its appropriate member libraries, must
discuss the possibility of including jointly operated library services at the cooperative facility.
    (f) The board of a district that has reorganized under section 123A.37 or 123A.48 and that
is applying for a grant for remodeling or improving an existing facility may act in the place of
a joint powers board to meet the criteria of this subdivision.
    Subd. 3. Reorganizing districts. A district that is a member of a joint powers board
established under subdivision 2 and that is planning to reorganize under section 123A.45,
123A.46, or 123A.48 must notify the joint powers board one year in advance of the effective
date of the reorganization. Notwithstanding section 471.59 or any other law to the contrary, the
board of a district that reorganizes under section 123A.45, 123A.46, or 123A.48 may appoint
representatives to the joint powers board who will serve on the joint powers board for two years
after the effective date of the reorganization if authorized in the agreement establishing the joint
powers board to govern the cooperative facility. These representatives shall have the same powers
as representatives of any other school district under the joint powers agreement.
    Subd. 4. District procedures. A joint powers board of a district established under
subdivision 2 or a school board of a reorganized district that intends to apply for a grant must
adopt a resolution stating the proposed costs of the project, the purpose for which the costs are
to be incurred, and an estimate of the dates when the facilities for which the grant is requested
will be contracted for and completed. Applications for the state grants must be accompanied by
(a) a copy of the resolution, (b) a certificate by the clerk and treasurer of the joint powers board
showing the current outstanding indebtedness of each member district, and (c) a certificate by
the county auditor of each county in which a portion of the joint powers district lies showing the
information in the auditor's official records that is required to be used in computing the debt limit
of the district under section 475.53, subdivision 4. The clerk's and treasurer's certificate must
show, as to each outstanding bond issue of each member district, the amount originally issued, the
purpose for which issued, the date of issue, the amount remaining unpaid as of the date of the
resolution, and the interest rates and due dates and amounts of principal thereon. Applications
and necessary data must be in the form prescribed by the commissioner. Applications must be
received by the commissioner by September 1 of an odd-numbered year. When an application is
received, the commissioner shall obtain from the commissioner of revenue, and from the Public
Utilities Commission when required, the information in their official records that is required to be
used in computing the debt limit of the joint powers district under section 475.53, subdivision 4.
    Subd. 5. Award of grants. By November 1 of the odd-numbered year, the commissioner
shall examine and consider all applications for grants, and if any district is found not qualified, the
commissioner shall promptly notify that board.
    A grant award is subject to verification by the district as specified in subdivision 8. A grant
award for a new facility must not be made until the site of the facility has been determined. A
grant award to remodel or improve an existing facility must not be made until the districts have
reorganized. If the total amount of the approved applications exceeds the amount that is or can be
made available, the commissioner shall first award grants to districts that will close at least one
existing school building, and then, to the extent funds remain, allot the available amount equally
between any other approved applicant districts. The commissioner shall promptly certify to each
qualified district the amount, if any, of the grant awarded to it.
    Subd. 6. Collocation grant. A group of districts that receives a grant for a new facility
under subdivision 4 is also eligible to receive an additional grant in the amount of $1,000,000.
To receive the additional grant, the group of districts must develop a plan under subdivision 2,
paragraph (d), that provides for the location of a significant number of noneducational student and
community service programs within the cooperative facility.
    Subd. 7. Referendum; bond issue. Within 180 days after being awarded a grant for a new
facility under subdivision 5, the joint powers board must submit the question of authorizing the
borrowing of funds for the facility to the voters of the joint powers district at a special election,
which may be held in conjunction with the general election of the school board members of the
member districts. The question submitted must state the total amount of funding needed from all
sources. A majority of those voting in the affirmative on the question is sufficient to authorize
the joint powers board to accept the grant and to issue the bonds on public sale according to
chapter 475. The clerk of the joint powers board must certify the vote of the bond election to
the commissioner. If the question is approved by the voters, the commissioner shall notify the
approved applicant districts that the grant amount certified under subdivision 5 is available and
appropriated for payment under this subdivision. If a majority of those voting on the question do
not vote in the affirmative, the grant must be canceled.
    Subd. 8. Contract. Each grant must be evidenced by a contract between the board and
the state acting through the commissioner. The contract obligates the state to pay to the board
an amount computed according to subdivision 5, and according to a schedule, and terms and
conditions acceptable to the commissioner of finance.
    Subd. 9. Consolidation. A group of districts that operates a cooperative facility that was
acquired, constructed, remodeled, or improved under this section and implements consolidation
proceedings according to section 123A.48, may propose a temporary school board structure in the
petition or resolution required under section 123A.48, subdivision 2. The districts may propose
the number of existing school board members of each district to become members of the board
of the consolidated district and a method to gradually reduce the membership to six or seven.
The proposal must be approved, disapproved, or modified by the commissioner. The election
requirements of section 123A.48, subdivision 20, do not apply to a proposal approved by the
state board. Elections conducted after the effective date of the consolidation are subject to the
Minnesota Election Law.
History: 1987 c 400 s 36,59; 1988 c 718 art 8 s 13-15; 1989 c 300 art 2 s 2-4,13; 1989
c 329 art 6 s 38; 1990 c 562 art 6 s 27; 1992 c 409 s 2; 1992 c 499 art 5 s 10-12; 1993 c 224
art 5 s 18-20; 1994 c 643 s 55-61; 1Sp1995 c 2 art 1 s 32-34; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1998 c
397 art 7 s 68-73,164; art 11 s 3; 1999 c 241 art 4 s 29; 2000 c 464 art 3 s 9; 2000 c 489 art 5 s
19,27; 2004 c 294 art 5 s 4; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2007 c 146 art 4 s 4