CHARTER SCHOOL FACILITIES FUNDING
Information on public and private funding options for the design, construction, renovation, lease, or purchase of charter school buildings, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. See also NCEF Resource List on Case Studies - Charter Schools and other related lists on funding sources.
References to Books and Other Media
Handbook: Developing Charter School Facilities.
(California Charter Schools Association, Jan 05, 2012)
A handbook designed to help charter-school operators navigate the ins-and-outs of the facility acquisition process. Covers topics such as developing a facility-needs inventory, zoning regulations, building a new school from the ground up, and much more 61p
Quality Schools: Every Child, Every School, Every Neighborhood. An Analysis of School Location and Performance in Washington, D.C.
(Illinois Facility Fund, Jan 2012)
Study recommends that Washington, D.C., overhaul or close more than three dozen traditional public schools in its poorest neighborhoods and expand the number of high-performing charter schools. After explaining the research methodology, the study provides a district-wide analysis, with findings and recommendations. Includes maps and tables. 80p
Consensus for Reform: A Plan for Collaborative School Co-locations.
Manners, Nicholle; Ramirez, Ursulina
(Office of Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate of the City of New York , Jul 2011)
New York City Department of Education is trying to expand public charter options. A major challenge of charter expansion is finding school space to support the new school enrollments. But, as critical, is finding space for a co-location where it will not compromise the educational opportunities of students attending the school or schools already in place. This report identifies challenges and makes recommendations on processes and guidelines for co-location. The recommendations advocate for greater participation from parents, community leaders, and seasoned professionals throughout the co-location process not to increase bureaucracy, but to highlight the connection between equity and space. 33p.
Charter School Bond Issuance: A Complete History.
Balboni, Elise; Berry, Wendy; Wolfson, Charles
(Educational Financing Facilities Center of Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC) , Jun 2011)
Examines the 13-year history of the charter school tax-exempt bond sector. Identifies the universe of 500 rated and unrated facilities transactions, provides cost and pricing information and examines the repayment performance of charter school borrowers to date. 64p.
A Decade of Results: Charter School Loan & Operating Performance
(Quantitative Economics and Statistics Practice of Ernst & Young, May 2011)
This report looks at the performance of charter school loans over the last decade. It reflects data from 15 lenders representing $1.2 billion in charter school loans over 10 years. Of these loans, only 1.0% of the total loan amount in the study ended in foreclosure. Among outstanding loans, just over 3% were reported as delinquent for 60 days or more at any point in their history. The study found a correlation between loan performance and factors such as academic performance, the size of the school, prevalence of charter schools within a district, and occupancy costs. 56p.
Navigating the Closure Process. Issue Brief.
(The National Association of Charter School Authorizers, May 2011)
Provide a practice-oriented resource for authorizers and other charter school stakeholders to navigate the closure process after the decision to close a charter school has been made. Summarizes how to close a charter school in a responsible and efficient manner. Covers what to anticipate from stakeholders and the key elements of planning a closure. 8p.
Making Room for New Public Schools. How Innovative School Districts are Learning to Share Public Education Facilities with Charter Schools.
Sazon, Maria C.
(National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Apr 2011)
Provides seven case studies of districts where superintendents and school boards are instituting policies and creating practices that allow charter schools to take over or occupy underutilized and unused public buildings. This report also identifies strong policies to ensure charter schools have equitable access to surplus school district space. 36p.
District of Columbia Charter Schools. Criteria for Awarding School Buildings to Charter Schools Needs Additional Transparency.
(U.S. Governmental Accountability Office. Report to Congressional Commitee, Mar 2011)
Almost 40 percent of all public school students in the District of Columbia were enrolled in charter schools in the 2010-11 school year. The report includes a review of the D.C. Public Charter School Board's new system for overseeing charter schools and provides details about the funding and characteristics of the city's charter schools. GAO recommended that the Mayor of the District of Columbia direct the Department of Real Estate Services to disclose all factors considered in reviewing charter school offers for former D.C. school buildings and make available to schools, in writing, the reasons the offers were rejected. 44p.Report NO: GAO-11-263
Charter School Capital Outlay [Florida]
(Florida Department of Education, Office of Educational Facilities, 2011)
Annual reports on Florida's capital outlay for charter schools, back to 1998.
Measuring Up to the Model. A Ranking of State Charter School Laws. Second Edition.
(National Alliance for Public Charter Schools , Jan 2011)
Analyzes the country’s 41 state charter laws and scores how well each supports charter school quality and growth based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS’s model charter school law. This report captures state legislation affecting the charter school movement in the last year, including moves states made to be more competitive under the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program. Includes a chapter on Leaders in Facilities Support Policies. 113p.
A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities.
(National Alliance for Public Charter Schools , Nov 2010)
Describes the impact of the growth of public charter schools on selected public school districts. Four major cities now have at least 30 percent of public school students enrolled in charter schools, and in 16 other cities more than 20 percent of public school students go to charter schools, 10 more cities than five years ago. 8p.
Equal or Fair? A Study of Revenues and Expenditures in American Charter Schools.
(University of Colorado, Education and the Public Interest Center, Boulder , Jun 2010)
Uses national data to provide review of charter school finance and uncovers patterns in both income and expenditures. Charter schools managed by education management organizations (EMOs) receive particular attention. The study's research questions focus on examining and comparing the amounts and sources of revenues and expenditures between charter schools and traditional public schools, and among several categories of charter school. 77p.
2010 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape.
Balboni, Elise, et al
(Local Initiatives Support Corporation, New York, NY , Jun 2010)
This is an updated mapping survey of private nonprofit and public financing programs for charter school facilities across the nation, including information on charter school access to the tax-exempt bond market. It includes descriptions of private philanthropies and nonprofit organizations active in the sector and detailed data on all rated charter school bond issuances through 2009. Performance data is provided for both loans and tax-exempt bond issues. Public initiatives are also detailed, including federal programs supportive of charter school facilities and state policies in all 40 jurisdictions with a charter law. 64p.
The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts.
Gleason, Philip; Clark, Melissa; Tuttle, Christina; Dwoyer, Emily; Silverberg, Marsha
(U.S. Department of Education, Nationca Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Washington , Jun 2010)
Evaluates outcomes in 36 charter middle schools in 15 states. The report compares the outcomes of 2,330 students who applied to these schools and were randomly assigned by lotteries to be admitted (lottery winners) or not admitted (lottery losers) to the schools. Both sets of students were tracked over two years and data on student achievement, academic progress, behavior, and attitudes were collected. Among the key findings were that, on average, charter middle schools that held lotteries were neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving math or reading test scores, attendance, grade promotion, or student conduct within or outside of school. 264p.Report NO: NCEE 2010-4029
The Changing Field of Facilities Financing.
(National Charter School Resource Center , May 19, 2010)
The Charter School Center's May 2010 newsletter focuses on recent developments that may help charters better meet facility needs, including federal bond programs and growing interest by investors. It profiles YES Prep, a network of open enrollment charter schools in Houston which took advantage of Qualified School Construction Bonds and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds to finance a $22 million expansion program.
Charter School Funding: Inequity Persists.
(Ball State University, Muncie, IN , May 2010)
Reports on funding inequities between district and charter schools, with particular deficiencies in funding for charter school facilities. Charts illustrate where funding disparity for charter school facilities at the local, state, and federal levels exist. The difficulty of obtaining quality data is noted, as are changes in the situation over the last four years. 53p.
Comparing the Level of Public Support: Charter Schools versus Traditional Public Schools.
(New York City Independent Bugdet Office , Feb 2010)
Reports that New York City charter schools receive $300 less per student than district schools, if housed in a public school building, but that charter schools that own their own buildings or lease them receive more than $3,000 less per student in public funding than district schools. Critics counter that charter schools, especially those housed in city-owned buildings, receive many hidden subsidies that either equalize or boost charter school resources above what district schools receive. Because of the complicated ways charter schools and district schools are funded, a fair comparison of how much money district and charter schools actually spend on students is difficult to draw. Questions of how charter schools are funded, and the effect of the city's practice of granting public building space to charters, are currently under heavy public scrutiny. 9p.
Report to the Community: Charter School Financing: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learned.
(Low Income Investment Fund, Oakland, CA , 2010)
Describes the results of a survey of six of the most active nonprofit and for-profit groups engaged in charter school facility financing across the country. Collectively, survey participants have made approximately 220 loans totaling nearly $200 million to charter schools. The report includes their experiences, challenges faced, and lessons learned with respect to their charter school loan portfolios. Survey questions explored topics such as motivations for engaging in charter school lending, characteristics of the market, size and structure of loans, strategies for mitigating risk, challenges and success factors.
The Sustainable Answer Key: A Guide to Building a Sustainable, High-Performance Charter School Facility.
(NCB Capital Impact, Arlington, VA , 2010)
Provides a step-by-step guide for integrating sustainable building features into a charter school facility. The guides includes an overview of the benefits of green schools, worksheets, advice on critical issues, organizational tips and other useful information vital for the project. Sections cover determining project goals, developing the plan, designing the facility, building commissioning, and financing. Seven case studies and a glossary of green terminology are included. 71p.
A New Life for the Franklin School: Connecting the Past to the Present.
Simon, Chaya Rachel
(Theses, University of Maryland, 2010)
When the Franklin School was built in 1869 in the heart of Franklin Square, a vibrant area of Washington, D.C., the school was the gold standard for D.C. public schools. However, over the years, the building and its surrounding neighborhood have deteriorated. Franklin Square has become a business district active only during business hours, with an underused park. The school, which is currently empty, has undergone a few renovations, but the interior of the building has deteriorated. Despite its emptiness, it remains the only lasting memory of Franklin Square's vibrant past. By redeveloping the Franklin School into a new and accessible public charter school and connecting it to the park, the two can become a catalyst to re-activate the area. By testing different approaches to adaptive re-use, this thesis will explore ways to reconnect the building and its surroundings to the past.[Author's abstract]
Accountability in Action: A Comprehensive Guide to Charter School Closure.
Wechtenhiser, Kim; Wade, Andrew; Lin, Margaret
(National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 2010)
When the decision has been made to close a charter school, this guide provides detailed information about procedures, case studies, a sample closure plan and checklist, and sample letters to various constituencies. It has six chapters: "Why Good Authorizers Should Close Bad Schools"; "The Evidence Base Needed for School Closure"; "Closure: Timing, Process and Appeals"; "Authorizing Boards and Executives"; "Supporting Students and Families"; and "Message Matters in Closure Decisions." 80p
A Cost Estimation Tool for Charter Schools.
(National Resouce Center on Charter School Finance and Governance, Washington, DC , Oct 2009)
Assists new public charter school operators identify and estimate the range of costs and the timing of expenditures they will be obligated to cover during start-up and the early years of operation. The tool includes templates and worksheets covering a wide range of areas, including enrollment and facilities needs. A cost estimation template is included. 28p.
Summaries of State Charter School Facility Laws
(U.S.Department of Education, State Charter School Facilities Incentives Grant Program, 2009)
Some states have passed state charter school facilities laws that provide per-pupil facilities aid for charter schools. This provides summaries of laws from California, District of Columbia, Minnesota, and Utah, including links to the legislation and regulations for each state.
U.S. Charter Schools: Facilities.
(US Charter Schools, 2009)
Good compilation of charter school facilites information, including background, planning, needs assessment, site selection, financing, and resources.TO ORDER: http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/
References to Journal Articles
Whose School Buildings Are They, Anyway?
Education Next; v12 n49 ; Fall 2012
Explores the sources and consequences of the hold school districts typically enjoy over the financing, development, ownership, and deployment of public school facilities—and some promising strategies for breaking it for charter school facilities.
Investors Go to School on Charters
Wall Street Journal; Jun 12, 2012
Charter schools are drawing more than just increasing numbers of students: Bond investors also are signing up. As charter schools have grown, their bond sales—which usually go toward financing construction of new facilities—have gotten bigger as well, a sign of rising interest from investors. And while the relatively high yields are burdening the schools with higher borrowing costs, they are proving particularly enticing to market participants at a time of near-zero interest rates.
Urban Schools: What’s Next
School Construction News; May 23, 2012
Today there is a potpourri of public schools operating within urban school districts, including typical PK-12 neighborhood schools; magnet, thematic and choice schools; and a wide variety of charter schools that are operated by the school district or independently. This fragmented scenario creates new challenges and opportunities for facility planners and the facilities divisions in urban public school systems. Recommends creating a non-profit real-estate organization that manages all educational facility assets in a city. Discusses effectively disposing of excess property, or closed school buildings.
Charter Operators Spell Out Barriers to "Scaling Up"
Education Week ; v31 n1 , p1, 17 ; Aug 2011
The pace at which the highest-performing charter-management organizations (CMOs) are "scaling up" is being determined largely by how rapidly they can develop and hire strong leaders and acquire physical space, and by the level of support they receive for growth from city or state policies, say leaders from some charter organizations viewed by advocates as having high student achievement. To explore what might be obstacles to growth for successful charter operators, "Education Week" interviewed leaders of five of the seven CMOs in the NewSchools Venture Fund's portfolio that the fund sees as producing the best student-achievement results. The seven charter operators are: (1) Aspire Public Schools; (2) Achievement First; (3) Green Dot Public Schools; (4) Harlem Success Academy Charter School; (5) the Knowledge Is Power Program; (6) Uncommon Schools; and (7) Rocketship Education.
Addressing the Finance Gap.
Balboni, Elise; Galiatsos, Ann Margaret
Community Developments Investments: Charter School Financing Opportunities; Spring 2011
Discusses the mismatch in the market between the perception and reality of charter schools' creditworthiness for financing purposes. Explores the facilities hurdle, the U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement Program, and New Markets Tax Credit funding.
Charter Schools: A Good Credit Risk to Improve Communities.
Community Developments Investments: Charter School Financing Opportunities; Spring 2011
Discusses the role of banks in financing charter schools facilities, explaining that charter schools present a solid credit risk, and their access to financing structures and credit enhancement can help attract capital to the market.
Charter Schools Benefit From New Markets Tax Credit Financing.
Community Developments Investments: Charter School Financing Opportunities; Spring 2011
Discusses the benefits for charter schools to use the New Markets Tax Credit Program, a popular and flexible community development financing tool that allows a charter school to partner with a community development entity in order to receive capital with better rates and terms.
Tipping Point or Turning Point?
American School Board Journal; v196 n11 , p22-24 ; Nov 2009
Discusses growth in charter schools, increased federal funding for charter schools, the increasing maturity in charter school conception and oversight, demographic particulars of charter school students, local funding issues, and tension and competition between charter schools and traditional schools, as well as between charter schools themselves.
Facilities Funding: Some New Tools for the Never-Ending Challenge.
Charter Schools Today; Summer 2009
Discusses new opportunities for school facilities funding in the economic stimulus plan, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), including school construction bonds and the New Markets Tax Credits program.
Build It Well and the Children Will Come.
Educational Facility Planner; v43 n4 , p5-9 ; 2009
Profiles the creation of the DC Prep charter school in an 1970's abandoned and run-down former District of Columbia school. In only 40 days, the window- and wall-less open classroom plan was converted into individual classrooms with abundant and inviting common areas featuring vibrant colors and partial illumination from clerestory windows.