Charter schools have limited access to the capital funding streams available to school districts. Few states provide funding, but these solutions are limited in both their reach and funding, and do not come close to meeting the charter sector’s facilities needs. Unlike district schools, charter schools typically do not receive funding that is sufficient to cover more than their operating costs and must pay for facilities costs out of their operating budgets – meaning money that should be going into the classroom is instead paying for the classroom.
Charter schools often issue their own tax-exempt bonds because they are not included in the local school district bonds for school construction. Charter schools have to pay a higher interest rate and that leaves less money for education programming.
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
In State Policy Analysis: State Support for School Facilities and Charter Schools, the Facility Center analyzes state funding for all public school facilities and identifies opportunities for charter schools to participate in this broader funding.
State credit enhancement programs can provide effective, low-cost financing support for charter schools seeking to reduce costs for facilities financing.
COVID’s impact has caused unprecedented financial uncertainties and operational challenges for charter schools across the country. Many charter operators and Boards may be considering revisiting all potential financial levers, including real estate obligations, to stabilize and support healthy o
This 11/15/19 webinar provided update on the activities of the Charter School Facility Center, recent Charter School Program (CSP) awards, and national advocacy on behalf of facility funding.