Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB)
Through the federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program, school districts with low-income populations can save on interest costs associated with financing school renovations. The federal government covers all of the interest in the form of a reimbursement of interest cost paid by the district, resulting in savings up to 50 percent of the cost of these renovation and improvement projects.
QZAB proceeds may be used to rehabilitate or repair school facilities, obtain equipment, develop curricula, and/or train teachers and other school personnel. QZAB proceeds may not be used on new construction.
To qualify, there must be a reasonable expectation that at least 35 percent of the school's students or program participants will be eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches under the National School Lunch Act when the bonds are issued. The school district also must obtain commitments from private entities for "qualified contributions," such as equipment, technical assistance, or volunteer services, with a present value of not less than 10 percent of the proceeds of the bond issue.
Districts will be requested to send letters of proposal to DPI. If your district has an interest in the QZAB program, please provide the department with a letter of interest. Your letter should identify the projects by building, acknowledge that the 35 percent free and reduced-cost lunch requirement for such buildings will be met, identify QZAB funding expectations by project, explain how the private participation requirement will be achieved, and confirm the districts commitment to comply with the Davis Bacon prevailing wage requirements.
We encourage you to work with local businesses and community organizations to create proposals that will qualify. Again, new construction is not an eligible QZAB use. The department will give priority consideration to eligible school districts that have passed a referendum or have a board approved resolution to issue non referendum debt, and have not previously participated in the QZAB program.
Wisconsin has been allocated $5,963,000 of QZAB issuance authority for calendar year 2014. The department has established the following timeline for awarding this authorization.
- QZAB allocation announced: March 6, 2015
- Applications due: May 15, 2015
- Review of applications in May
- Announcement of awards: June 12, 2015
- Qualified Zone Academy Bond Program General Information
- Davis Bacon Act
- Sample Contractor Certified Payroll Form
- U.S. Department of Education (for detailed information concerning the program)
- Sequestration Impact (March 1, 2013 - September 30, 2013)
- Sequestration Impact (October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014)