The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement announced the recipients of $42 million in Credit Enhancement grants to help charter schools meet the cost of financing facilities. All charter schools are public schools, but they often lack equitable access to public buildings and public funding. Access to facilities financing is an important part of expanding opportunity to public charter schools for America’s families. This grant is part of the Charter Schools Program (CSP), the nation’s only source of dedicated federal funding for the creation and replication of high-quality public charter schools.
2021 Recipients are:
- Equitable Facilities Fund, Inc.
- BlueHub Loan Fund, Inc.
- Massachusetts Development Finance Agency
- California School Finance Authority
“The National Alliance extends our congratulations to the recipients of this year’s CSP grant competition as they work to meet the demand for more high-quality public school options across the country," said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "Public charter schools are an integral part of the public education landscape and Credit Enhancement Grants are essential to help new public charter schools provide safe, innovative, and inspirational learning environments for students.”
Currently, more than 7,500 charter schools serve nearly 3.5 million public school students across 43 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico – and a growing number of families are demanding more. A recent report from the National Alliance says public charter school enrollment increased 7% during the 2020-2021 school year. In all, nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in these unique public schools during the first complete school year of the pandemic, while 1.4 million students left their district public schools.
This program provides grants to eligible entities to enhance the credit of charter schools. Charter schools generally lack equitable access to taxpayer-funded facilities and have limited access to the funding streams available to school districts and often have to diversify classroom spending to support facility costs. These CSP awards support charter schools in accessing capital at lower interest rates to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost, which means they have more funds available to spend in the classroom, rather than on the classroom.