A common public funding source for capital projects is often referred to as Reso A, which is allocated for school projects to the School Construction Authority by New York City Council members and Borough Presidents.
Build Relationships With Your Elected Officials!
It's important to build relationships with the city and state elected officials that represent your school. Not only do they determine important policy, they often have access to funding opportunities that can impact your school community, especially capital projects.
So, where do you start?
1) Find your NYC Councilmember. Here is a great tool.
2) Understand that this (and any) funding will take relationship building, planning, proposal writing, follow up, reporting, and more follow up.
3) If you are willing to engage in this process (and we hope you are, because it's worth the effort!), you should develop a list of 2-3 capital projects in your school. They need to have a minimum cost of $35,000. You should refer to the Reso A Brochure for examples of projects and the parameters of the funding.
4) Call your Councilmember's and Borough President's offices and invite him/her to tour your school, to address the audience at a performance, to attend/speak at Graduation. You get the idea....create opportunities for him/her to get to know your school community. You can ask for their scheduler, Chief of Staff, or Community Engagement liaison..every office is set up differently. Be respectful and be persistent. Get to know the staff, just as you do the elected official.
5) After any type of connection, say 'thank you!' These are busy folks with a lot of demands on their time...just like you!
6) Discuss your capital needs and the possibility of a Reso A grant. Work closely with their staff on deadlines and paperwork.
You want to think about all of this in the context of the following timeline:
Submit proposal for Reso A project to your Councilmember's or Borough President's office. (Be sure that you communicate to each office if you are submitting more than one Reso A request. Elected officials don't like surprises!)
School notified of project approval by elected official
City budget negotiations and approval
City fiscal year starts
Program under review for capital eligibility and funding
SCA receives final budget authorization from the Office of Management & Budget
SCA begins scope/design process.
Take photos of the project. Publicly thank the officials and their staff that helped your school.