NEW YORK SECURE AMMUNITION AND FIREARMS ENFORCEMENT ACT ( NYSAFE):
IMPACT ON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUILDING AID

  1. The NYSAFE Act enhances NYSEL 3602 6-c aid for the purchase of stationary metal detectors, security cameras and safety devices for electrically operated partitions. BOCES are not eligible for this aid.

  2. The NYSAFE Act changes the existing provisions of NYSEL 3602 6-c in three ways:
    1. In addition to the devices specifically mentioned in the original statute, expenses for electronic security systems and hardened doors approved by the Commissioner on or after July 1, 2013 are now eligible for this aid.
    2. All eligible expenses for this aid, not just the additional devices mentioned above, will now be aided at the current year RWADA aid ratio plus 10%; however, the aid ratio enhancement applies only to eligible expenses incurred during the 2012-13 through 2014-15 school years. Note: The RWADA aid ratio is not necessarily the same as the selected aid ratio for Building Aid; the annual calculation of all ratios can be viewed on the Building Summary Aid Report (BLD-SBA)
    3. The purchase of electronic security systems and / or hardened doors must be included in the school district’s school safety plan.

  3. The NYSAFE Act  impacts only State Aid for security cameras, etc. as provided under NYSEL 3602 (6-c). It has no impact on regular building projects aided via assumed amortization (NYSEL 3602 (6)(e)); i.e., expenses for security cameras, metal detectors, electronic security systems and hardened doors are not eligible for the new NYSAFE 10% enhanced RWADA Aid ratio if they are included in capital projects subject to the regular Office of Facilities Planning review process and aided under assumed amortization.

  4. Reporting: Districts will continue to claim base year expense for all items eligible for this aid on SAMS Form FB Schedule N, and SED State Aid Office approval of SAMS Form FB will constitute ‘Commissioner’s approval’ of aidable base year expense. Starting with 2012-13 expense reported in 2013-14 SAMS, Schedule N will contain one or more new sections for reporting base year expense for electronic security systems and hardened doors. The new sections will include an item requiring the district to note whether the purchased electronic security systems and/or hardened doors are included in the school district’s safety plan. If a district indicates that the items are included in the safety plan, the overall SAMS certification by the superintendent will be considered legal certification of this assertion.

  5. Cost Allowance and System Scope: As required by law, the Office of Facilities Planning will prescribe  maximum cost allowances for electronic security systems and hardened doors which will be published when available and displayed on Schedule N on 2013-14 SAMS. Although the cost allowances have not yet been set, please note the following regarding this aid: The purpose of this statute, including the NYSAFE amendments, is to allow a school district to purchase and install security systems and devices separate from traditional capital construction projects and in student-occupied buildings. It is not intended as a method to allow installation of comprehensive security systems which would otherwise be subject to the standard building permit review process at the Office of Facilities Planning. Districts are advised not to purchase/install security systems of a cost/scope that could possibly be subject to the standard review process with the expectation that the expense could be claimed for aid under this statute. If a claim for an installation is rejected by the State Aid Office for exceeding the cost allowance under SAMS Schedule N process, it will also be rejected by Facilities Planning because it was completed prior to the issuance of a building permit. In this situation it is possible no aid will be paid for the installed system.

The Office of Facilities Planning has published guidance on eligible expenses and cost allowances: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/documents/NYSAFEActImplementation.pdf
All specific purchase/construction questions, and questions on eligibility of specific equipment, may be directed to the Office of Facilities Planning (518-474-3906).

All other questions regarding the new provision in the NYSAFE Act may be directed to the State Aid Office (518-474-2977).

Last Updated: July 1, 2013