The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that it awarded three grants totaling $12 million to three different organizations that are working across the country to help charter schools obtain facilities through the purchase, lease, or donation of real property, the construction of a new facility, or the renovation, repair or alteration of existing facilities under the Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities Program (Credit Enhancement). The recipients include a non-profit organization called The Reinvestment Fund, a consortium of non-profits called Build with Purpose, and the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency.
One of several grants under the Office of Innovation and Improvement's Charter Schools Program, the Credit Enhancement program helps to improve educational options for students and parents by targeting funds to areas with the greatest need for public school choice.
"Every child deserves a high-quality education in a safe learning environment," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These grants help ensure that children learn in adequate facilities. The Credit Enhancement program supports charter schools, helps put the schools on stable financial footing and allows us all to continue working towards President Obama's goal of leading the world in college graduates by the year 2020."
The Credit Enhancement program awards grants based on a competitive preference priority that rewards applicants for targeting funds to areas with the greatest need for public school choice.
The following organizations will receive grants under this program:
The Reinvestment Fund: $5,019,231
Build with Purpose: $4,652,157
Massachusetts Development Finance Agency: $2,328,612
The Reinvestment Fund will create a loan pool that will fund charter school facilities using subordinated debt, leasehold improvements loans, and loans originated through the New Markets Tax Credit Program in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Build with Purpose will enable charter schools to access sufficient capital to undertake leasehold improvements for start-up schools and acquisition, renovation and ongoing improvements for growing and established schools in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Massachusetts Development Finance Agency will help charter schools by issuing guarantees in Massachusetts on behalf of charter schools to guarantee a portion of a loan or bond made to a charter school to improve its school facility.