Public charter schools do not have access to the same affordable financing options as government supported district schools. Single-site charter schools, those in high-poverty or rural areas, and those with new models are at a significant disadvantage in the facilities financing market—they have to pay much higher interest rates to borrow money. States can provide financing solutions at little to no cost. Even in a best-case financing scenario, charter schools end up saddled with debt or lease obligations—which they must pay for with their per-pupil operating funds.

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Refinancing Guide

Charter School Facility Refinancing Guide and Toolkit

September 23, 2020

Financing a charter school facility is challenging enough. Refinancing a charter school facility is often a larger project and has more consequences because long term debt can last for 30 years or more. The stakes can be significant when locking into long term financing.

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Contact the Charter School Facility Center

Moral Obligation- A State Credit Enhancement Program

September 15, 2020

Since the early 1970s, moral obligation bonds have been used to finance housing, higher education facilities, hospitals, corrections facilities, and more. Some states are now using this tool to help charter schools save on borrowing costs.  

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Charter School Facility Center Advisory Board

Tips for Rating Agency Interviews

August 20, 2020
Liz Sweeney

Former credit rating analyst Liz Sweeney outlines recommendations for charter schools to maximize interactions with rating agencies. 

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USDA Rural Image

USDA Financing of Rural Charter Schools

January 23, 2020
Jim Griffin

What federal agency has funded more charter schools facilities than any other agency? The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides key financing to develop essential community facilities in rural communities.

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Charter School Facility Center Advisory Board

Impact Investing

December 16, 2019

Historically, the government provided all the funding for public schools. There might have been some small charitable gifts, but this was largely the government's responsibility. Even for capital construction of school buildings, the municipal bond market works very efficiently.

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Is It Time for a Charter School Credit Union? report graphic

Is It Time for a Charter School Credit Union?

November 1, 2019
Charter School Facility Center

Just like traditional public school communities, charter schools, their employees, and their families need access to a myriad of financial services—including student loans and college-planning education.