1. There shall be distributed from the federal funds allocated to the state of Iowa as described in Conference Committee Report 105-390, accompanying H.R. 2264, making federal appropriations to the United States departments of labor, health and human services, and education, to the state department of education the sum of eight million dollars to establish a school infrastructure safety fund.
2. The funds shall be allocated to the school budget review committee to develop a school infrastructure safety fund grant program, in conjunction with the state fire marshal. For purposes of reviewing grant applications and making recommendations regarding the administration of the program, the state fire marshal shall be considered an additional voting member of the school budget review committee.
3. Top priority in awarding program grants shall be the making of school infrastructure improvements relating to fire and personal safety. School districts eligible for program grants shall have received an order or citation from the state fire marshal, or a fire department chief or fire prevention officer, for one or more fire safety violations regarding a school facility, or in the opinion of the state fire marshal shall be regarded as operating facilities subject to significant fire safety deficiencies. Grant awards shall also be available for defects or violations of the state building code revealed during an inspection of school facilities by a local building department, or for improvements consistent with the standards and specifications contained in the state building code regarding ensuring that buildings and facilities are accessible to and functional for persons with disabilities. The school budget review committee shall allocate program funds to school districts which, in its discretion, are determined to be faced with the most severe deficiencies. School districts applying for program grants shall have developed and submitted to the state fire marshal or local building department a written plan to remedy fire or safety defects within a specified time frame. Approval of the written plan by the state fire marshal or local building department shall be obtained prior to receipt of a grant award by a school district.
4. Application forms, submission dates for applications and for written plans to remedy fire or safety defects, and grant award criteria shall be developed by the state department of education, in coordination with the state fire marshal, by rule.
5. The school budget review committee shall submit a progress report of the number and amount of grants awarded, and fire and safety improvements made, pursuant to the school infrastructure safety fund grant program, to the general assembly by January 1, 2000.
6. If federal rules or regulations are adopted relating to the distribution or utilization of funds allocated to the state department of education pursuant to this section which are inconsistent with the provisions of this section, the state department of education shall adopt rules to comply with the requirements of the federal rules or regulations.
98 Acts, ch 1130, §5, 6
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