The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced today three grants totaling $11 million awarded to a nonprofit organization, a State entity, and a consortium of nonprofits that are working across the country to help charter schools obtain facilities through purchase, lease, and donation under the Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities Program (Credit Enhancement). 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.
Under the Credit Enhancement program, awardees may use grants to leverage funds to help charter schools construct and renovate school facilities, guarantee and insure leases for property, and identify potential lending sources for charter school facilities.
“Adequate facilities are essential for providing a high-quality education and a safe learning environment,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The Credit Enhancement program supports charter schools and gives them more financial security – ultimately helping schools to attain facilities where they can engage students in learning.”
The following organizations will receive grants under this program:
Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $5,016,605
Massachusetts Development Finance Agency: $2,671,388
Build with Purpose: $3,347,843
Local Initiatives Support Corporation will serve schools across the country. The program will feature two strategies: 1) a National Charter Loan Fund II, which will provide direct lending to charter schools and is credit enhanced with ED funds, and/or 2) a Charter School Guaranty Fund, which will directly credit enhance tax-exempt municipal bonds, mortgages, and leasehold improvement loans for charter school facilities.
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.
Build with Purpose will assist charter schools in accessing capital to enable facility projects and development in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.