NEWS RELEASES 2017-18 :: SEPTEMBER 13, 2017


North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson has announced that applications for funding through the new Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund are now available. The fund — more than $100 million over the next two years — was provided by the General Assembly to assist lower-wealth counties with their critical public school building capital needs. For this year and next year, funding will be available only to Tier 1 counties. In later years, Tier 2 counties will also be eligible.

“This new fund will help smaller school districts with new capital projects, potentially replacing old buildings that are costly to maintain and no longer serve the districts’ needs with new, efficient and right-sized buildings that meet their 21st century needs,” Johnson said.

The funds are capped at $15 million per project in Tier 1 counties, and the law requires a local match of $1 for every $3 in grant funds.

County applications, available at, are due to the Department of Public Instruction by Oct. 11, and awards will be announced by Nov. 1. A second round of grants will be awarded by September 30, 2018, with an application deadline of August 31. This timeline is intended to address already identified critical capital needs with a sense of urgency, while allowing counties in earlier planning stages adequate time to apply as well.

Provided by revenue from the state lottery, the fund totals $30 million this fiscal year and $75 million in fiscal year 2018-19. Under the law, awards will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Counties designated as development Tier 1 areas
  2. Counties with greater need and less ability to generate sales tax and property tax revenue
  3. Counties with a high debt-to-tax revenue ratio
  4. The extent to which a project will address critical deficiencies in adequately serving the current and future student population.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.