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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2019 Bond

Charter School Bond Sector: 2019 Year in Review

April 15, 2021

In 2019, the charter school tax-exempt bond sector registered another record volume year with issuance exceeding $3.7 billion—up from almost $3 billion in 2018 and representing a robust 25% increase. This record volume was the seventh annual record out of the last eight years.

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Contact the Charter School Facility Center

Facility Financing Sources

October 16, 2020
The Council of Development Finance Agencies

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) prepared this report to demonstrate how charter schools can access development finance tools and programs for the acquisition and renovation of school facilities.

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Charter Schools Facility Center

Synthesis of Facility Research

October 16, 2020
National Charter School Resource Center

The National Charter School Resource Center published A Synthesis of Research on Charter School Facilities, a new, in-depth report on charter school facilities that examines the current state of charter school access to facilities, including facility acquisition and owne

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Charter School Facility Refinancing Guide and Toolkit graphic

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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Charter School Facility Center Advisory Board

The New Market Tax Credit Program

July 22, 2020

Charter schools are eligible uses of New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). There have been 75 NMTC transactions in schools, and most of them have been charter schools.