$36.5 Million in Charter Schools Grants Announced
Four grantees will receive a total of $36,531,346 in grants through the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Grants program, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today. These organizations will use the funds to increase credit worthiness and help them obtain facilities financing for charter schools. They are:
Housing Partnership Inc. in Boston, Mass., $15,000,000
Illinois Facilities Fund in Chicago, Il., $10,000,000
Low Income Investment Fund in San Francisco, Calif., $5,000,000
Michigan Public Educational Facilities Authority in Lansing, Mich., $6,531,246
The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program provides assistance to help charter schools meet their facility needs. Under this grant program, funds are provided on a competitive basis to public and nonprofit entities, and consortia of those entities, to improve the credit of charter schools to allow them to obtain financing for school facilities.
“Charter schools are one of the fastest-growing sources of school choice in American education today, but many can’t obtain financing for the facilities they need to house their schools,” Secretary Spellings said. “These grants will help communities open up new spaces to charter schools so that, in turn, these schools can open their doors to new students.”
Despite the popularity of charter schools with parents, teachers and the public, these distinctive public schools face barriers. A high percentage of leaders at new charter schools point out that inadequate facilities have impeded the implementation of their charters. Unlike traditional local education agencies, charter schools generally lack the ability to issue general obligation bonds backed by property taxes, and they are often perceived to be credit risks by lenders.
The Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities grants help improve educational options for students and parents by targeting funds to areas with the greatest need for public school choice.
For more information on the grant program visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/charterfacilities/index.html
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