19. Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities

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Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Weight
4
Score Meanings
0 × 4 = 0 — The state law does not include any of the model law’s provisions regarding equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
1 × 4 = 4 — The state law includes a small number of the model law’s provisions regarding equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
2 × 4 = 8 — The state law includes some of the model law’s provisions regarding equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
3 × 4 = 12 — The state law includes many of the model law’s provisions regarding equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
4 × 4 = 16 — The state law includes all of the model law’s provisions regarding equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
Subcomponents
Facilities Funding
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Access to public space, such as:
* A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district.
* Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
19E. Access to financing tools, such as:
* State loan program for charter school facilities.
^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority.
* Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms.
* The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund.
* The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests.
* A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

State Scores for this Component

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Alabama law allows for charter schools be provided the same access as other public schools to the Public School and College Authority, which issues Capital Improvement Pool Bonds, as periodically designated by the Alabama Legislature, from which public school capital improvement projects are granted funding. The law provides that the PSCA and the department shall adopt and maintain a policy to ensure that public charter schools receive access to equitable facilities funding under the program. Projects funded in whole, or in part, by the Alabama Public School and College Authority involve co-ownership and possible divisions of funding and payments.Alabama law provides that a public charter school shall have a right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed or unused public school facility or property located in a school system from which it draws its students if the school system decides to sell or lease the public school facility or property. It defines an unused facility means a school building or other local board of education owned building that is or could be appropriate for school use, in which more than 60 percent of the building is not being used for direct student instruction or critical administration purposes and for which no offer to purchase has been executed. It requires the department to publish the names and addresses of unused facilities on its website in a list that is searchable at least by each facility's name and address. This list shall be updated at least once a year by May 1.
Alabama law allows for charter schools to be included in issuance of Capital Improvement Pool Bonds, as periodically designated by the Alabama Legislature, through the Public School and College Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

The charter school facilities construction, lease, and major maintenance grant program provides that this grant aid be based on a per-pupil funding formula, subject to legislative appropriation and available funding. Grant allocations cannot be less than $1 per-pupil per year. The state is not currently funding this program.
Alaska law requires school districts to direct a proportionate share to charter schools of state aid under the state’s School Construction Grant Fund program for the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of schools and education-related facilities and Major Maintenance Grant Fund program that is based on a per-pupil funding formula. The state is not currently funding these programs.

Alaska law requires a school district to offer to a charter school the right of first refusal for a lease of space in an existing school district facility or in a facility within the school district that is not currently being used as a public school, if the chief school administrator determines the facility meets requirements for health and safety applicable to public buildings or other public schools in the district. If the school district requires lease payments by a charter school, the school district must negotiate a lease agreement with the charter school for an amount that does not exceed the true operational costs calculated on a square foot basis.

Alaska law provides that charter schools are eligible through their local municipalities to access tax-exempt financing through the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority.

The law allows a municipality to classify and exempt or partially exempt from taxation all or a portion of privately owned real property rented or leased for use as a charter school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Arizona law provides charter schools with a per pupil "equalization" allocation called “additional assistance” that may be used for facility operation and construction, among other things. Statute provides that this amount is for $1,807 per K-8 pupil and $2,106.03 per high school pupil.
Arizona law creates a charter schools stimulus fund for the purpose of providing financial support to charter school applicants and charter schools for startup costs and costs associated with renovating or remodeling existing buildings and structures. The fund allows schools to receive up to two grants for up to $100,000 for each grant. The state is not currently funding this program.

Arizona law requires the state department of education, in conjunction with the state department of administration, to compile and publish an annual list of vacant and unused buildings or portions of buildings owned by the state or school districts that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. However, nothing requires the owner to offer the right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value to charter schools.

Arizona law requires the School Facilities Board to annually submit a list of vacant and unused buildings to the Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker.

Arizona law prohibits school districts from excluding charter schools in bidding if a school district decides to sell or lease unused facilities. However, it specifically states that a school district shall attempt to obtain the highest possible value under current market conditions for the sale or lease of the vacant and unused building or the vacant and unused portion of a building and may not accept an offer from a potential buyer or lessee that is less than an offer from a charter school. The law prohibits the owner of a building from withdrawing he property from sale or lease solely because a charter school is the highest bidder.

Arizona law allows non-profit charter schools to apply for bond financing from Industrial Development Authorities.

Arizona law created a public school credit enhancement fund and funded it at $100 million, which can be leveraged to provide more than $300 million of low-cost financing for quality schools, including charter schools.

The Arizona Credit Enhancement Board (CEB) also guarantees the full principal and interest payments on a charter school’s bonds. Eligibility for the CEB program is based on Arizona’s own state academic performance rating rather than on a third-party credit rating. To be eligible, a school must have an “A” academic rating. For schools that participate, bonds carry the rating of the CEB program (currently “AA-”).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Arkansas law creates the open enrollment public charter school facilities funding aid program and authorizes up to $20 million in funding to this program. The state is currently providing $7,575,000 to this program.
Arkansas law creates an open enrollment public charter school capital grant program. However, the state has not provided funding to this program.

Arkansas law requires each school district to annually identify all unused or underutilized facilities to the Arkansas Department of Education. The law allows public charter schools to lease or purchase a school district’s unused or underutilized facilities for fair-market value. It gives public charter schools a right of first refusal to purchase for fair-market value a facility that a district intends to sell. It also gives the school district a right of first refusal to purchase a facility back if the charter school ceases to use the facility.

Arkansas law creates an open enrollment public charter school facilities loan fund. However, the state has not provided funding to this program.

Arkansas law provides that charter schools are eligible to access financing through the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.

Arkansas law provides that a school district or public charter school may enter into public-private partnerships whereby the school district or public charter school enters into a lease-purchase agreement for the acquisition or construction of a school building or related facilities built or acquired by the private entities with facilities bonds exempt from federal taxes.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

California law created the Charter School Facility Grant Program (via SB 740) that provides up to $1,117 per pupil in lease reimbursement for charter schools where 55% of students qualify for free and reduced price lunch either at the charter school or its local elementary school attendance area; payments may not exceed 75% of total annual facilities rent costs.
Under California law, the Charter School Facilities Program authorizes the State Allocation Board to provide per-pupil facilities grant funding for 50% of the total project cost for new construction or renovation of charter facilities. This program is subject to available statewide school bonds passed to support charter school facilities. Proposition 47, Proposition 55, and Proposition 1D have placed more than $800 million in a fund for charter school facility development. In addition, in November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 51, a statewide school bond that provided $500 million specifically for charter schools under the same program used for Proposition 1D.

The law requires districts to provide charter schools with facilities that are sufficient to accommodate charter school needs for their in-district students and reasonably equivalent to other district facilities, through an annual application process. It allows a district to charge a charter school only a proportionate share of its facilities costs that are paid from the general fund.
Under California law, the Charter School Revolving Loan Program provides below-market loans of up to $250,000 for new-start charter schools, allowing up to five years for repayment. A school may use these loans for any start-up costs, including facilities.

California law provides that charter schools are eligible to access tax-exempt bond financing through the state and eligible to access public borrowing through county boards of education and county treasuries.
California law also provides that the state treasurer's office offers a limited credit enhancement program.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Colorado law provides a per-pupil charter facilities funding program. The state provided $256.30 per student in 2018-19.Colorado law allows charter schools to apply for competitive grants from the state’s public school facility financing program, the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program.

The law requires school districts to invite charter schools to discuss their capital construction needs before the district submits a bond request or floats a bond for facilities funding. Districts are not required, however, to include charter schools as part of their requests or bonds.
The law requires school districts to include at least one charter representative on any long-term mill levy planning committees, invite each charter to participate in ballot submission discussions, and, if the district doesn’t include a charter’s needs, provide a written justification as to why these needs weren’t included. The law requires the creation of an annual report by the Colorado Department of Education that compiles the amount of mill levy revenue in each school district and the amount of the mill levy shared with charters in each school district.
The law specifies that a charter school may not be charged rent for using space in a school district facility, although other costs for facilities operations and maintenance must be negotiated between the charter school and the school district. The law explicitly allows charter schools to lease or purchase land from the state.
The law requires that each school district that authorizes a charter school must prepare a list of any vacant or underused buildings and land and provide the list, upon request, to charter schools authorized by the school district, charter school applicants, and other interested persons, and must also post on their website. Within 45 days after the list is made available, charter schools or applicants may apply to use the building or land as the location for the charter school, and make a decisions in a public meeting held no later than 90 days after the list is posted, including public disclosure of reasons for any disapproval.
Colorado law creates the “Charter School Matching Moneys Loan Program,” which is set up to provide a state loan for qualified schools (i.e., investment grade schools) to meet any required matches under the state’s public school facility financing program (i.e., BEST).
Colorado law provides that the Educational and Colorado Cultural Facility Authority (CECFA) may issue bonds on behalf of charter schools. The charter school debt reserve fund, backed by the moral obligation pledge of the state, enhances charter schools’ ability to borrow funds from CECFA and to obtain more favorable rates.
Colorado law provides a mechanism for limited credit enhancement for eligible, highly rated bond transactions for charter schools by using the state’s moral obligation to back up to $500 million in debt.

The law requires school districts to invite charter schools to discuss their capital construction needs before the district submits a bond request or floats a bond for facilities funding. Districts are not required, however, to include charter schools as part of their requests or bonds.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Yes
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Connecticut law requires the state commissioner of education to establish, within available bond authorizations, a grant program to assist state charter schools in financing school building projects, general improvements to school buildings, and repayment of debt incurred for school building projects. Preference must be given to applications that include matching funds from non-state sources. A charter school that "abandons, sells, leases, demolishes or otherwise redirects the use of a school building" within 10 years of receiving funding under this program must repay the state an amortized portion of the grant. For 2018-19, grants were available up to $850,000 per school.The law also provides that the state bond commission shall have the power, from time to time, to authorize the issuance of bonds of the state in one or more series and in principal amounts not exceeding in the aggregate $20 million to support charter school facilities. The funding available under this program was $3.8 million for 2018-19 and $3.4 million for 2019-20.
Connecticut law allows a charter school to apply for low-interest loans from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Delaware law requires the state department of education to administer a performance fund for charter schools, to be known as the “Charter School Performance Fund.” It requires the department to establish threshold eligibility requirements for applicants desiring to apply for funding, which shall include but not be limited to a proven track record of success, as measured by a performance framework established by the charter school’s authorizer or comparable measures as defined by the department. It also requires the department to establish criteria to evaluate applications for funding, which shall include but not be limited to the availability of supplemental funding from non-State sources at a ratio to be determined by the department. The law requires the department to prioritize those applications from applicants that have developed high-quality plans for start-up or expansion or serve high-need students, as defined by the department. The law provides that the fund shall be subject to appropriation and shall not exceed $5 million annually. The state is currently not providing any funding to this program.The law provides that the state shall fund minor capital improvements at charter schools in the same manner as the state funds such improvements at vocational technical school districts.
Delaware law provides that school districts must make unused buildings or space in buildings available for charter schools and must bargain in good faith over the cost of rent, services, and maintenance related to such space.

Delaware law requires the state department of education and state department of administrative services to publish a list of all vacant and unused buildings and portions of buildings owned by the state or school districts that may be suitable for charter schools.
Delaware law provides that charter schools are eligible to access tax-exempt bond financing through the Delaware Economic Development Authority and have access to the tax-exempt bond market through the county in which they reside. It also provides that charter schools have the same access to conduit bond financing as any other non-profit organization and that no state or local government unit may impose any condition or restriction on a charter school’s approval solely because the applicant is a public charter school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

The law provides a per-pupil facilities aid program. In Fiscal Year 2019, the city is providing $3,263 per student for this program, and per code this figure will increase to $3,335 for Fiscal Year 2020.District and federal law combined provide to grant programs for charter school facilities.
In 2013, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act authorized competitive grants to charter schools to provide facility funding in order to increase the number of high-quality public charter school seats in the District of Columbia. This grant has not been offered since Fiscal Year 2017, but approximately $4 million is expected to be made available in Fiscal Year 2020.
Established in 2007, the Investing in Public Facilities Grant is a federally-funded initiative that provides grants for improving the quality of district-owned educational facilities occupied by charter schools. Grant funds may be used for new construction, renovations, system upgrades, predevelopment soft costs, and the addition of non-classroom space, such as resource rooms, labs, and athletic rooms. This program is currently not being offered.
The law requires the mayor and the D.C. government to give charter schools a right of first offer for the purchase, lease, transfer, or use of surplus public facilities or properties. The law also notes that charter schools are eligible for a rebate of any taxes paid as part of any leasing agreement. This law has been unevenly implemented.
The District of Columbia’s Direct Loan Fund for Public Charter School Improvement was established in 2003 to provide flexible loan capital for the construction, purchase, renovation, and maintenance of charter school facilities. Loans are capped at $2 million per school for up to five years, with interest rates and terms varying by project. These loans are frequently used in conjunction with debt in larger projects and may function as gap financing in transactions where little equity is available. To date, the fund has disbursed close to $64 million in direct loans to 27 charter schools, leveraging $459 million in additional financing. As of October 2018, the available Direct Loan Fund balance was $24 million.
The law allows charter schools to access low-interest, tax-exempt bonds through DC’s Revenue Bond Program.
The law provides the Public Charter School Credit Enhancement Fund, which provides credit enhancement for the purchase, construction, and renovation of facilities for charter schools. The program offers guarantees or collateral pledges of up to $1 million for up to five years. There is currently $13.5 million in this fund.
The Charter School Incubator Initiative (CSII), a public-private partnership between the District of Columbia and Building Hope, is a program that assists with securing and financing facilities for new charter schools serving communities and schools where at least 50% of students are eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program. CSII is funded through a $4 million federal appropriation sub-grant to Building Hope and OSSE’s $5.1 million ED credit enhancement grant.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Florida law provides a per-pupil charter facilities funding program for eligible charter schools on a formula basis. It specifies that a school is eligible if it has been in operation at least two years, is part of an expanded feeder pattern chain, or is accredited. For 2019-20, the legislature appropriated $158.2 million for this fund.
Beginning in fiscal year 2019-2020, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General Appropriations act and district discretionary mill levies if the amount of state funds appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal year is less than the average charter school capital outlay funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018-19 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. In other words, should state appropriations be insufficient to fund charter school capital outlay funding at 2018-19 levels, the local school district will be required to make up the difference by contributing local district tax revenues.

Florida law requires school districts to share tax revenues generated from school district-voted discretionary millages with charter schools based on each charter school’s proportionate share of the district’s total unweighted full-time equivalent student enrollment. It requires charter schools to use the funds in the same manner as required by non-charter schools. It requires the referendum to contain an explanation of the distribution methodology consistent with this change. It provides that these changes apply to operating millage levies authorized by a vote of the electors on or after July 1, 2019.

Florida law allows conversion charter schools to remain in their previous district facilities that comply with the State Requirements for Educational Facilities provided that the school district and the charter school have entered into a mutual management plan for the reasonable maintenance of such facilities.
In addition, if a district school board facility or property is available because it is surplus, marked for disposal, or otherwise unused, it is provided for a charter school's use on the same basis as it is made available to other public schools in the district.
Each school district shall annually provide to the state department of education as part of its 5-year work plan the number of existing vacant classrooms in each school that the district does not intend to use or does not project will be needed for educational purposes for the following school year. The department may recommend that a district make such space available to an appropriate charter school.
Florida law allows the Florida Industrial Development Financing Act to authorize any county or municipality to issue tax-exempt industrial development bonds to finance the cost of eligible projects, including facilities owned and operated by charter schools.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Yes
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Georgia law provides brick and mortar state charter schools and state chartered special schools with an amount equal to the state-wide average total capital revenue per full-time equivalent, as determined by the state department of education. Statute notes that such funding is subject to the appropriations by the General Assembly. For 2018-19, the state is providing approximately $1,158 per pupil for this item. In addition, there is a capital fund add-on for such schools in “high-rent” districts. The additional capital allotment ranges from $61 per pupil to $695 per pupil and averages out to be an additional $489 per pupil above and beyond the $1,158 allotment. For locally-authorized charter schools, district authorizers are required to treat a charter school “no less favorably than other local schools within the applicable local system with respect to the provision of funds for instruction, school administration, transportation, food services, and, where feasible, building programs”, though it is unclear what this amounts to in practice.
Georgia law provides a per-pupil, needs-based capital-funding program for charter schools that is distributed by the state educational agency. For 2019-20, the legislature has directed $3.4 million (up $2 million from 2018-19) to be divided equally between applicants (a new allocation method).

Georgia law provides, subject to appropriations by the Georgia General Assembly, a matching grant program for qualified charter school facilities contributions. The program would provide $1 in matching funds—up to a maximum amount authorized by the state board for a single charter school project—for each dollar donated to a qualified charter school organization for a facility project, provided that the total amount donated shall not exceed 75 percent of the average per-student state portion of capital outlay funding provided multiplied by the number of students that the charter school project is designed to serve. The state is not currently funding this program.

Georgia law requires each local board of education to make available any vacant or otherwise unused facility to locally-authorized charters at no lease cost, with any additional terms of use to be negotiated by the parties.

Statute also now indicates that local charter schools which petition to be authorized by the commission must be allowed to continue the use of all facilities, equipment, and other assets it used prior to the expiration or rescission of its charter with a local board of education; however, the local school board can begin to charge or continue to charge a reasonable fee for use of the facilities if the school switches to the commission.

Georgia law provides charters with access to tax-exempt debt through county development authorities.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

The public charter school commission can request needs-based charter school facilities funding from the legislature as part of its annual budget request. Funding amounts are prioritized for allocation by the charter school facilities funding working group. This program is currently not funded by the legislature.Hawaii law requires the state department of education to identify unused public school facilities that may be appropriate for charter schools and solicit applications from charter schools interested in using and occupying all or portions of the facilities of the department school. If a charter school occupies or uses the facilities of a department school immediately prior to converting to a charter school, upon conversion that charter school must be given continued exclusive or joint use of the buildings or facilities unless the state demonstrates a tangible and imperative need to reclaim all of the facilities.
Hawaii law provides that when any department considers closure of any facility, it shall give "reasonable consideration" to making all or portions of the facility available to charter schools and early learning programs. Each department shall provide notice to the superintendent, state public charter school commission, and executive office on early learning, identifying suitable unused facilities that may be appropriate for public charter schools, early learning programs, including the pre-plus program and any other purpose the department of education deems appropriate. The department of accounting and general services shall biennially survey departments concerning unused facilities and inventory the suitable facilities, and, in determining suitability for educational re-use, priority shall be given to facilities on sites with sufficient space for three or more classrooms.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

The Charter School Facilities Program requires the state department of education to distribute facilities funds to public charter schools on a per pupil basis. It provides that a proportion of moneys appropriated to the educational support program be distributed for this purpose, based on a percentage of the statewide average amount of bond and plant facility funds levied per student by Idaho school districts. This proportion may be adjusted according to a formula that considers an increase or decrease in overall education support appropriations. It also provides that the average amount of funding received per public charter school shall not exceed the average amount of funding received by each school district. This approach translated to approximately $420 per charter school pupil in 2019-20, which is 37% of the $1,131 in revenues otherwise available solely to districts through other local and state sources.
Charter schools are also provided two small per student distributions under two state programs available to both districts and charter schools. The State Facilities Funding Program, which allocates three-eighths of state lottery revenues to be distributed on a per-student basis to all public schools (with the exception of charter schools in their first year), amounted to $62 per student for 2018-19. The School Facilities Maintenance Match Program requires school districts and charter schools to allocate annually a minimum of two percent of each building’s replacement cost to cover maintenance and repairs, for which the state provides a proportion of these funds (based on 0.5% of the replacement value of school buildings, as determined by student?occupied square footage multiplied by the replacement value set annually by the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee), amounting to $13 per student for 2018-19.

The law gives school districts the authority to authorize the transfer or conveyance of any surplus district-owned property to various public entities including charter schools.

Idaho law provides that charter schools are eligible for tax-exempt facilities financing using Nonprofit Facilities Revenue Bonds issued by the Idaho Housing and Financing Association.

Idaho law creates the public charter school debt reserve to assist qualifying charter schools in obtaining favorable financing for facility improvements and construction. A public charter school seeking to use the public charter school debt reserve must receive approval from the Idaho housing and finance association pursuant to the criteria set forth in the law. In 2016, the state allocated $750,000 to this fund.

Effective July 2019, Idaho's Public Charter Schools Facilities Program will provide moral obligation from the state as a credit enhancement mechanism for facilities projects of charter schools that have maintained good academic, financial, and operational standing for at least three years and who keep 12 months of bond payments in a reserve account.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

In 2019, Illinois lawmakers appropriated $34 million in capital funding to several charter schools in Chicago as part of the state’s capital bill.
Illinois law provides that the state board of education shall make grants to charter schools to pay their start-up costs of acquiring educational materials and supplies, textbooks, electronic textbooks and the technological equipment necessary to gain access to and use electronic textbooks, furniture, and other equipment or materials needed during their initial term. The state board shall annually establish the time and manner of application for these grants, which shall not exceed $250 per student enrolled in the charter school. The state is currently not providing funding to this program.

Illinois law provides that conversion charter schools cannot be required to pay rent for a space deemed available in school district facilities at the time its charter contract is established.

The law otherwise provides that a charter school may negotiate and contract with a school district, the governing body of a State college or university or public community college, or any other public entity, though there is no requirement for public facilities or schools to be made available to charter schools.

Illinois law establishes the Charter Schools Revolving Loan Fund, which is administered by the Accountability Division at the Illinois State Board of Education, to provide interest-free loans to charter schools to be used to pay start-up and replication costs of acquiring educational materials and supplies, textbooks, furniture, and other equipment needed in the initial term of the charter school and for acquiring and remodeling a suitable physical plant within the initial term of the charter school. Loans are limited to one per charter school and may not exceed $250 per student, repaid by the end of the initial term of the charter contract (usually five years). From 2017, 10% of any award to a charter school located in a district facility will be designated to the school district. The state appropriated $200,000 to this program for FY2019.

Illinois law provides that charter schools can access tax-exempt revenue bond and lease financing for capital projects through the Illinois Finance Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Indiana law creates a $750 per-pupil facilities allotment for charter public schools that must be used primarily for facilities and transportation purposes, provided the schools meet performance expectations. Indiana law establishes a charter school facilities assistance program to make grants and loans to charter public schools for the purpose of constructing, purchasing, and renovating charter school facilities. The state is not currently funding this program.
Indiana law provides that a local school board must make available for lease or purchase to any charter school any of its buildings previously used for classroom instruction that is not used in whole or in part for classroom instruction at the time the charter school seeks to lease the building or it appears on the list of available school buildings compiled by the state department of education. The law provides that if a charter school wishes to use a school building on the SEA's list, the charter school must send a letter of intent to the department. The department must notify the school district of the charter school's intent, and the school district that owns the school building must lease the school building to the charter school for $1 per year for as long as the charter school uses the school building for classroom instruction or for a term at the charter school's discretion or sell the school building to the charter school for $1.
Indiana law establishes a charter school loan program that allows charter schools to borrow up to $5 million each at one percent interest for facilities and a wide range of educational needs. Qualification for the loan is based on the same performance criteria used to receive the facilities allotment. The state provided an initial $50 million to this program in 2015.
Indiana law grants charter schools located in Indianapolis the ability to obtain facilities financing from the local public improvement bond bank and all other charter schools the ability to obtain financing through the Indiana Bond Bank. Indiana law provides that charter schools have the moral obligation pledge of the City or State to debt issued through these authorities.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Iowa law does not include any of the model law's provisions for equitable access to capital funding and facilities.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Charter schools have access to tax-exempt financing for capital projects and programs through the Kansas Development Finance Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Louisiana law requires a local school board to provide a per-pupil portion of local revenues approved by voters for capital outlay or debt service to charter schools that are not housed in facilities provided by the district.Louisiana law requires local school boards to make available to chartering groups any vacant school facilities or any facility slated to be vacant for lease or purchase at fair market value. For conversion charter schools, the facility and all the property within the existing school must be made available to the chartering group. If such facilities were constructed at no cost to the local school board, then such facilities including all equipment, books, instructional materials, and furniture within such facilities shall be provided to the charter school at no cost. Otherwise, the chartering group is required to pay a proportionate share of the local school board's bonded indebtedness.
Louisiana law provides the Louisiana Charter School Start-Up Fund, which provides zero-interest loans for both new and existing charter schools of up to $100,000 with terms of up to three years. It allows the loans to be used for facility acquisition, upgrade, and repairs. The state is not currently funding this program.
Louisiana law provides that charter schools are eligible to access tax-exempt financing through the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Yes
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Maine law provides that charter schools have right of first refusal to purchase or lease any school facilities or property and that the price cannot exceed the fair market value of the property. The law provides that a public charter school may negotiate and contract with a school administrative unit, the governing body of a state college or university or public community college or any other public or for-profit or nonprofit private entity for the use of a school building.
According to the law, a library, community service, museum, performing arts, theater, cinema, church, community college, college and university facilities may provide space to public charter schools within their facilities under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.

It also provides that a public charter school may purchase or lease at or below fair market value part or all of any surplus or unused state-owned facility or property located in the State. The state agency in control of the facility may not require purchase or lease payments that exceed the fair market value of the property.

According to the law, the same zoning rules that apply to other noncharter public schools apply to public charter schools.

The law provides that a facility, or portion thereof, used to house a public charter school is exempt from property taxes.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

If, with the approval of the state superintendent of education, a county school board determines that a school site or building no longer is needed for school purposes and after the county commissioners or county council have provided required notice, Maryland law requires county school boards to notify public charter schools about school sites and buildings available for occupation and use on terms determined by the county school board. However, the law does not give charter schools the right of first refusal to purchase or lease these sites or buildings at or below fair market value.Maryland law provides that charter schools are eligible for tax-exempt debt from the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority, but they are not backed by the “full faith and credit” of the State of Maryland.
The Maryland Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority (MHHEFA) issues tax-exempt debt for facilities projects on behalf of nonprofit educational and health care institutions. MHHEFA’s total bond financing on behalf of charter schools is approximately $29 million to date.
Charter schools may apply for bond financing through various county and municipal industrial development authorities in Maryland.
The Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) was founded in 1984 to promote employment, business activity and economic development in the state. MEDCO issues debt on behalf of business incubators, tourism projects, manufacturing projects, higher education projects and nonprofit organizations, including charter schools.
According to the law, any portion of a building or property occupied and used by a public charter school shall be exempt from property taxes under state law for the duration of the occupation and use of the building or property as a public charter school.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Massachusetts law requires the state department of education to provide, subject to appropriation, funding to charter schools for a portion of the per pupil capital needs component included in the charter tuition amount. It requires the department to calculate a statewide per pupil average expenditure from state and local sources for capital costs solely associated with payments, including interest and principle payments, for the construction, renovation, purchase, acquisition, or improvement of school buildings and land, multiply said amount by the number of students the district sends to charter schools, and reimburse these sending school districts for said costs. In making these calculations, it requires the department to use data from the most recent year for which actual district expenditures have been reported by districts to the department. The per-pupil capital needs component is $8938.Massachusetts law allows charter schools to access tax-exempt bond financing for capital projects through the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency.
While not created in statute, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency provides loan guarantees for charter facilities projects.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Michigan law provides that charters sponsored by school districts can access district bond levy funds for facilities as determined by their charter. It also provides that all charter schools are eligible to access tax-exempt financing and technical assistance through the Michigan Public Educational Facilities Authority’s bonding and loan programs.
Michigan law prohibits the state from pledging its moral obligation for charter school facility financing.
Statute states that property occupied by a charter school and used exclusively for educational purposes is exempt from a portion of school property taxes.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Some
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

For FY 2019, charter schools received $226.59 per-pupil in an operating capital revenue allowance. If these revenue funds are insufficient to cover a building lease, a charter school may apply to the commissioner for building lease aid. Building lease aid cannot be used for custodial, maintenance service, utility, or other operating costs. Minnesota law provides lease aid to charter schools in the amount of 90% of lease costs, up to $1,314 per-pupil for FY 2019. Minnesota law specifies that charter schools that own their own facilities may not receive lease aid, but they can apply lease aid to a facility lease from an affiliated nonprofit building corporation.Minnesota law provides public charter schools receive long-term facilities maintenance revenue like all school districts, except that charter schools have the freedom to use the revenue for any purpose of the school. For fiscal year 2019, this was $132 per adjusted pupil unit. In comparison, this is significantly lower than what school districts receive, which is $380 times a rate that is based on the district's average facility age, plus additional funding for large indoor air quality, asbestos abatement, and fire alarm and suppression projects.
Minnesota law specifies that charter schools that own their own facilities may not receive lease aid. However, it allows charter schools that meet certain requirements (e.g., have net unreserved general fund balances) to, with state commissioner approval, create an affiliated nonprofit building corporation, which may renovate or purchase an existing facility or expand an existing building or construct a new school facility. The law allows such nonprofit building corporations to secure financing through various sources available to other nonprofits (e.g., municipal bonds, mortgages), and allows charter schools to use their lease aid for facilities owned by nonprofit building corporations.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

State law provides that a charter school has a right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed public school facility or property or unused portions of a public school facility or property in the school district in which the charter school is located if the school district decides to sell or lease the public school facility or property. The law provides that if a conversion charter school application is successful, the local school district owning the conversion charter school’s facility must offer to lease or sell the building to the conversion charter school at or below fair market value.
It also provides that a charter school may negotiate and contract at or below fair market value with a school district, state institution of higher learning, public community or junior college, or any other public or for-profit or nonprofit private entity for the use of a facility for a school building.

States law allows public entities, including, but not limited to, libraries, community service organizations, museums, performing arts venues, theatres, cinemas, churches, community and junior colleges, colleges and universities, to provide space to charter schools within their facilities under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Missouri law provides that a school district may incur bonded indebtedness or take other measures to provide for physical facilities for charter schools that it authorizes or with which it contracts.
Missouri law also allows charter schools to access bonds through the Missouri Health & Educational Facilities Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Subject to legislative appropriation, charter schools may apply to the state department of education for available money for facilities if certain qualifications are met. However, the Fund to Assist School Districts in Financing Capital Improvements is not currently funded.Nevada law allows charter schools to contract with school districts for the use of facilities at a cost no more than the amount of per pupil dollars the district would otherwise spend on the building, but there is no requirement to offer right of first refusal.

Nevada law provides charter schools with access to the State-sponsored Account for Charter Schools, a revolving loan fund. The Account for Charter Schools revolving loan fund was funded for the first time in 2013 with a one-time State appropriation of $750,000. This funding must be used to make loans at or below market rate to charter schools for costs incurred in preparing a charter school to commence its first year of operations or to improve a charter school that has been in operation. The maximum loan amount is the lesser of $500 per pupil or $200,000. Repayment must be completed in three years.

Nevada law authorizes the Director of the Department of Business and Industry to issue bonds and other obligations to finance the acquisition, construction, improvement, restoration, or rehabilitation of property, buildings, and facilities for charter schools.
Nevada law allows charter schools to contract with school districts for the use of facilities at a cost no more than the amount of per pupil dollars the district would otherwise spend on the building.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
Yes
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

New Hampshire law provides that charter public schools are eligible to receive two types of grants through the School Building Aid Grant Program. The first type of grant allows charter conversion schools to receive funds to cover up to 30 percent of the costs related to construction. The second type of grant allows state-authorized charter schools to receive funds for up to 30 percent of the annual cost of leasing space.New Hampshire law provides that no state school building aid shall be awarded to a chartered public school for the purpose of acquiring land or buildings, or for constructing, reconstructing, or improving the chartered public school, unless the building is owned by the school district, under lease to the chartered public school, and such lease does not include an option to purchase the building.
New Hampshire law provides that charter schools are eligible to access tax-exempt financing through the New Hampshire Health and Education Facilities Authority.

Charter schools are exempt from state and local property taxes but only if they own the building or lease from a tax-exempt entity. Charter schools that rent or lease from an entity that is not tax exempt may request up to a 90% reduction in state and local property taxes.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

New Jersey regulations require that the state division of executive services maintain a list of closed, unused, or unoccupied school facilities and make it available on its website.
New Jersey law provides charter schools access to tax-exempt bonds from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The law provides that a charter school may be located in part of an existing public school building, in space provided on a public work site, in a public building, or any other suitable location and that the facility shall be exempt from public school facility regulations except those pertaining to the health or safety of the pupils.
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority is authorized to provide tax-exempt financing for charter school capital projects.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

New Mexico law provides lease payments for charter schools at $700 per student for 2012-13. The law pegs this amount to an inflation index to determine future year allotments.
The law allows charter schools to access public capital outlay grants through the Public School Capital Outlay Council in somewhat similar ways to other public schools in the state.

The law requires school districts to share local facilities funds with public charter schools in a proportionate share to a charter’s enrollment. It allows these funds to be used as payments for approved lease-to-purchase agreements.

The law requires tax levy resolutions submitted by a district to the voters for approval to contain capital improvement funding for public charter schools that have an approved facility plan and that have been renewed one time. In practice, making this provision a reality has been a battle, especially for state-chartered schools.

The law requires the school district in which a charter school is geographically located to provide a charter school with available facilities for the school's operations unless the facilities are currently used for other educational purposes. It allows an agreement for the use of school district facilities by a charter school to provide for reasonable lease payments. Full implementation of the law has been problematic.

The law requires public charter schools to move to public buildings by 2015 or meet other conditions provided by law. For charter schools that are purchasing existing buildings or constructing new buildings, the law provides that such facilities must meet the average facility condition index of all public school buildings in the state.

The law allows the New Mexico Finance Authority to use public bond funds to construct charter facilities in a pilot program for up to seven charter schools. It allows funds loaned by the Finance Authority to be used for the acquisition of buildings, land, and facilities.

The law allows charter schools to access tax-exempt debt from counties.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Yes
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

New York law requires that the New York City School District provide charter schools that first commence instruction or that require additional space due to an expansion of grade level approved by their authorizer for the 2014-15 school year or thereafter and request co-location in a public school building one of two options:
* Offer at no cost to the charter school a co-location site in a public school building
* Offer the charter school space in a privately owned or other publicly owned facility at the expense of the school district and at no cost to the charter school. The space must be reasonable, appropriate and comparable and in the community school district to be served by the charter school and otherwise in reasonable proximity.

The law gives the charter school the option of appealing the school district’s offer or failure to offer a co-location site through binding arbitration, appeal to the state court, or via an expedited appeal to the state commissioner of education. If the appeal results in a determination in favor of the school district, the school district’s offer shall be final and the charter school may either accept such offer or locate in another site at the charter school’s expense.

For a new charter school whose charter is granted or for an existing charter school whose expansion of grade level is approved by their authorizer, if the appeal results in a determination in favor of the charter school, the school district shall pay the charter school an amount attributable to the grade level expansion or the formation of the new charter school that is equal to the lesser of:

* the actual rental cost of an alternative privately owned site selected by the charter school or
* 30% of the product of the charter school’s basic tuition for the current school year and (i) for a new charter school that first commences instruction on or after July 1, 2014, the charter school’s current year enrollment; or (ii) for a charter school which expands its grade level, the positive difference of the charter school’s enrollment in the current school year minus the charter school’s enrollment in the school year prior to the first year of the expansion. This percentage equate to roughly $4,500 per pupil.
New York law provides a charter schools stimulus fund, which provides discretionary financial support to charter schools for start-up costs and for costs associated with the acquisition, renovation, and construction of school facilities. $2 million was made available for 2018-19 applicants in awards up to $200,000 each, with schools having received over $350,000 in previous awards not eligible.
Statute provides that the New York City Schools Chancellor must identify and publish which public school buildings are subject to location or co-location of charter schools. The law requires the Chancellor to develop a building usage plan that defines the allocation of classroom and administrative space between the charter and non-charter schools and the collaborative usage of shared resources and spaces. The law requires such allocations to result in an equitable and comparable use of public school buildings between charter and non-charter schools, including equity in any funding received for facility upgrades in excess of $5,000.

The law provides that a school district shall permit any charter school granted approval to co-locate, to use such services and facilities without cost.

New York law defines charter schools as public agents that are eligible to obtain tax-exempt financing through various local industrial development agencies.
Charter schools in New York City have access to tax-exempt financing through the Build NYC Resource Corporation to construct, renovate, or equip facilities.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

North Carolina law provides that at the request of a charter school, a local board of education of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school will be located shall lease any available building or land to the charter school unless the board demonstrates that the lease is not economically or practically feasible or that the local board does not have adequate classroom space to meet its enrollment needs.
The law also allows a local board of education to provide a school facility to a charter school free of charge; however, the charter school is responsible for the maintenance of and insurance for the school facility. The law also states that if a charter school has requested to lease available buildings or land and is unable to reach an agreement with the local board of education, the charter school shall have the right to appeal to the board of county commissioners in which the building or land is located. The board of county commissioners shall have the final decision-making authority on the leasing of the available building or land.

North Carolina law provides that charter schools are eligible for tax-exempt bond financing through the North Carolina Capital Facilities Finance Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Ohio law provided brick-and-mortar schools with $200 per pupil for facilities funding in Fiscal Year 2019.
Ohio law creates a $25 million “Community School Classroom Facilities” grant program for high-performing charter schools. This grant has $4 million remaining.

Statute requires districts to lease and sell unused buildings to charter schools located in the same district at a price not higher than the appraised market value and the appraisal must not be more than one year old, with preference given to high-performing schools and newly established schools from operators with a track record of high performance.

Ohio law allows charter schools to use loans guaranteed under the Community Schools Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program for the construction of new school buildings. The state is not funding this program.

Ohio law also creates a revolving loan fund that allows charter schools to apply to use funds for any services described in their charter. The law provides that the maximum cumulative loan amount is $250,000 and that it must be repaid within five years. The state is not funding this program.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Oklahoma law provides the charter school incentive fund, which provides up to $50,000 per school to cover costs associated with renovating or remodeling existing buildings and structures for use by a charter school. The state is not currently funding this program.
The law provides that public charter schools have access to the State Public Common School Building Equalization Fund. It provides that charters must use these funds to acquire buildings, grants can only be awarded to charter schools that have secured matching funds for acquiring buildings in an amount of not less than 10% of the total grant amount, and the amount of each grant cannot exceed $4,000,000. From the total amount available to provide grants to public schools, the law requires that charter schools be allocated the greater of 10% of the total amount or the percent of students enrolled in charter schools that are not sponsored by the statewide virtual charter school board as compared to the student enrollment in school districts which have a total assessed property valuation per average daily membership that is equal to or less than 25% of the state total assessed property valuation per average daily membership. It also provides that the state board of education shall make available to eligible charter schools any unused grant funds that remain after the initial allocation to all eligible public school districts and charter schools. The state is not currently funding this program.

Oklahoma law allows charter schools to access tax-exempt bond financing through the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority.
The law provides that charter schools that choose to lease property are eligible to receive current government lease rates.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Upon written request from a developing or operating charter school, school districts and other public bodies must list vacant or unused buildings or portions of buildings suitable for charter school use. Building owners have no obligation to sell or lease facilities to charter school operators. Oregon law provides that charter schools are eligible for bonds from the Oregon Facilities Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Pennsylvania law provides that the state department of education must calculate an approved reimbursable rental charge for leases of buildings or portions of buildings for charter school use which have been approved by the state secretary of education on or after July 1, 2001. It provides that this charge is the lesser of the annual rent payable under the provision of the approved lease agreement or the product of the enrollment times $160 for elementary schools, $220 for secondary schools, or $270 for area vocational-technical schools. However, these figures are discounted to 50% or the market value aid ratio, whichever is higher.
Pennsylvania law allows the state secretary of education to allocate grants for planning and startup funding to eligible applicants. The amount of a planning grant may vary depending on the size and scope of the planning needed by the applicant. A grant for startup funding may vary depending on the size and special characteristics of the charter school. A startup grant may be used to meet the expenses of the charter school. The state is not currently providing funding to this program.
Pennsylvania law allows charter schools to apply for tax-exempt financing through the State Public School Building Authority, but its bond intercept law does not include charter schools (which would enhance credit ratings for charter schools).

Pennsylvania law provides that charter school facilities are exempt from public school facility regulations except those pertaining to the health or safety of the pupils.
The law states that all school property, real and personal, owned by any charter school, cyber charter school or an associated nonprofit foundation, or owned by a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit foundation and leased to a charter school, cyber charter school or associated nonprofit foundation at or below fair market value, that is occupied and used by any charter school or cyber charter school for public school, recreation or any other purposes provided for by this act, shall be made exempt from every kind of State, county, city, borough, township or other real estate tax.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Some
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Rhode Island law provides that a school district may access aid for reimbursement of school housing costs for school district sponsored charter schools, and that charter schools not sponsored by a school district may apply for 30% reimbursement of school housing cost on a need basis.State law provides that charter schools can access bonding support through the Rhode Island Housing and Education Building Corporation.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

South Carolina law requires the state department of education to make available, upon request, a list of vacant and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings that are owned by school districts and that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. It provides that if a school district declares a building surplus and chooses to sell or lease the building, a charter school's board of directors or a charter committee operating or applying within the school district must be given the first refusal to purchase or lease the building under the same or better terms and conditions as it would be offered to the public.South Carolina law creates a Charter School Facility Revolving Loan Program. There is currently $1.1 million appropriated to this program.
South Carolina law provides that charter schools are eligible for tax-exempt financing through the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
Yes
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Tennessee law requires the state department of education to annually calculate and reserve from payments to districts with one or more charter schools the amount of state funding required under the basic education program (BEP) for capital outlay as a non-classroom component and to distribute that amount directly to each charter school its per pupil share as determined by its prior year average daily membership, except that the per-pupil share of any charter school in its first year of operation must be based on the anticipated enrollment in the charter agreement. The law further provides that a district must include in the local share of funds paid to a charter school the required district match for the state funds generated under the BEP for capital outlay as a non-classroom component. The amount of these allotments vary by the district in which a charter school is located. Currently, the allotment is between approximately $215 and $315 per pupil. In 2017, a public charter school facilities program was created to award grants and loans for qualifying capital projects. $18 million was initially appropriated for this fund, $6 million each year for three years. For Fiscal Year 2020, this amount was increased to $12 million per year.

The law requires an LEA having underutilized and vacant properties to make the properties available for use by charter schools operating in the LEA. The law provides that a charter school may not be required to pay a base rent for the use of any underutilized and vacant property owned or operated by the LEA and may only be required to remit payment for the maintenance and operational costs associated with the occupancy of the property or space.

Furthermore, by October 1 of each year, the law requires any LEA in which one or more charter schools operates to annually catalog all vacant properties owned or operated by the LEA and all vacant space within any educational facility owned or operated by the LEA. The law requires the LEA to submit a comprehensive listing of all such properties and space to the state department of education, which must make an LEA's list available to any charter school operating in the LEA or to any sponsor seeking to establish a public charter school in the LEA.

Charter school advocates in the state have negotiated directly with Shelby County Schools to provide free facilities to high-quality charter schools and at or below market rates for those high-quality charter schools that want to purchase buildings.

The law provides that charter schools that have the support of their local taxing authority are eligible to access tax-exempt financing through the Tennessee Local Development Authority.

Public charter schools may seek their own bond funding for facilities (with the chartering authority’s approval) or may have their request included with an LEA’s bond request.
According to charter school advocates in the state, it would be unconstitutional for the state to pledge the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms.
The Tennessee Charter School Center secured credit enhancement support for the state’s charter schools via a grant through the federal Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. This grant will allow the state to leverage $8 million for up to $50 million in support for public charter school facilities in the state.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

From 2018-19, Texas law provides $60 million in annual facilities funds to charter schools that have received at least an acceptable rating within the state’s accountability system. This approximates to $200 per student (based on average daily attendance).The New Instructional Facilities Allotment, subject to annual appropriations by the state legislature, provides to public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools operational expenses associated with constructing new instructional facilities that meet the requirements of the statute and rules. Reimbursement is for up to $1,000 per student in average daily attendance in the first two years of operation, but generally are prorated due to limited available funds. The program is capped in statute at $25 million per year. $23.75 million was made available for 2018-19.
Texas law requires a local school board that intends to sell, lease, or allow use of an unused or underused district facility to give each open-enrollment charter school located wholly or partly within its boundaries the opportunity to make an offer to purchase, lease, or use the facility, as applicable, in response to any terms established by the local school board, before offering the facility to any other specific entity. The law does not require the local school board to accept an offer made by an open-enrollment charter school.
Texas law provides that a local school district may not require a charter school to pay rent for or to purchase a facility in order for it to use the facility.
Texas law provides that open-enrollment charter schools may access revenue bonds from the Texas Public Finance Authority Charter School Finance Corporation for the acquisition, construction, repair, or renovation of educational facilities.

Texas law allows open-enrollment charter schools that have an investment grade rating and meet certain financial criteria to apply to have their bonds guaranteed by the Permanent School Fund. The amount of the Permanent School Fund guarantee available to charters is limited to the percentage of the number of students enrolled in open-enrollment charters. Such backing would result in charter bonds being backed by the full, faith, and credit of the state, putting charter schools more on par with school districts and allowing most charters to achieve AAA rating.
The Texas Credit Enhancement Program (TCEP) for Texas open-enrollment charter schools was established to provide a guarantee fund for issuing tax exempt revenue bonds to provide financing for the acquisition, construction, repair, or renovation of Texas charter school facilities, including refinancing of facilities debt within federal program guidelines. A consortium of Texas entities was awarded a federal grant to create the guarantee fund. The consortium consists of the Texas Public Finance Authority Charter School Finance Corporation (CSFC), the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA), and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Some
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Utah law includes a local replacement fund to provide charter schools what school districts receive in property taxes. That fund combines two parts: (1) local property taxes for operations and (2) what districts spend on bonded indebtedness for school buildings. School districts provide about 25% of the funding for the fund. The state picks up the other 75%. The law provides that the amount of the local replacement fund is tied to increases school districts and the Legislature implement either as property tax hikes or as state guarantees to local property taxes. Utah law requires that a minimum of 10% of the local replacement fund must be expended for facilities. This facilities dedication is currently $224 per pupil. Utah law has established a charter school levy, which requires the local district to calculate the per pupil of the local levy for charter schools. The levy is collected by the state and distributed to charter schools. This mechanism guarantees an equal pro-rata share of local revenues are identified and designated to charter schools.

Utah law provides a charter school revolving loan fund that provides loans to charter schools for the costs of constructing, renovating, and purchasing charter school facilities. There is approximately $6 million in this fund.

Utah law creates the state charter school financing authority for charter facility financing. It provides charter schools with access to tax-exempt bond financing through issuers at the county and municipal levels.

Utah law creates the charter school credit enhancement program to assist qualified charter schools in obtaining favorable financing by providing the state’s moral obligation and providing a means of replenishing a qualifying charter school’s debt service reserve fund. The state appropriated $3 million to this program in FY 2013.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
Yes
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
Yes
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
No
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
Yes
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Virginia law provides that, as negotiated by contract, the local school board or the relevant school boards, in the case of regional public charter schools, may allow a public charter school to use vacant or unused properties or real estate owned by the school board. In no event shall a public charter school be required to pay rent for space that is deemed available, as negotiated by contract, in school division facilities. All other costs for the operation and maintenance of the facilities used by the public charter school shall be subject to negotiation between the public charter school and the school division or, in the case of a regional public charter school, between the regional public charter school and the relevant school divisions.
Virginia law provides that a public charter school may negotiate and contract with a school division, the governing body of a public institution of higher education, or any third party for the use of a school building and grounds, the operation and maintenance thereof, and the provision of any service, activity, or undertaking which the public charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter. Any services for which a public charter school contracts with a school division shall not exceed the division's costs to provide such services.
Virginia law allows charter schools to access financing through the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Statute provides that charter schools are eligible for state funds school construction.
It also provides that charter schools have the right of first refusal to purchase or lease at fair market value a closed public school facility or property or any unused portions located in a school district from which it draws its students if the district decides to sell or lease such facility or property. The law also notes that a charter school may negotiate and contract with various entities for the use of a facilities at fair market rent and that various entities can provide space to charter schools within their facilities under their preexisting zoning and land use designations.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Yes
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Wisconsin law prescribes how the Milwaukee Public Schools must report and sell underutilized and vacant buildings, giving a preference to public charter school operators. The law defines eligible properties as those unused or underutilized for at least 12 consecutive months or otherwise been designated as surplus.
Wisconsin law provides that charter schools are eligible to receive tax-exempt financing from the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority, the Wisconsin Public Finance Authority, and various city redevelopment agencies.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
No
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
No
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.

Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?

Wyoming provides school maintenance funding to school districts at a rate based on the square footage of educational facilities. Wyoming law provides that a charter public school is entitled to a proportionate share of its district’s major maintenance funding (under the Wyoming School Facilities Commission’s Major Building and Facility Repair and Replacement Program) based upon the proportion that the charter school educational building gross square footage contributes to the district educational building gross square footage.
The law entitles charter schools to use available school district facilities free of rent, but it does not give charter schools a right of first refusal on available public school facilities. The law also provides that all other costs for the improvement, modification, operation, and maintenance of the facilities used by the charter school shall be subject to negotiation between the charter school and the district board.
According to the law, a charter school may negotiate and contract with a school district, the governing body of a state college or university, or any third party for the use of a school building and grounds, the operation and maintenance thereof, and the provision of any service, activity, or undertaking that the charter school is required to perform in order to carry out the educational program described in its charter.
The law provides that any services for which a charter school contracts with a school district shall be provided by the district at cost.

Subcomponents

Key
Yes
Some
No
Facilities Funding
No
19A
A per-pupil facilities allowance that annually reflects actual average district capital costs.
Yes
19B
A state grant program, such as one specific for charter school facilities or equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.
No
19C
The inclusion of charter schools in school district mill levy requests regarding facilities.
Access to Public Space
Some
19D
Access to public space, such as: * A requirement for districts to provide district space or funding to charter schools if the majority of that schools’ students reside in that district. * Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.
Access to Financing Tools
N/A
19E
19E. Access to financing tools, such as: * State loan program for charter school facilities. ^ Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allowing charter schools to have their own bonding authority. * Pledging the moral obligation of the state to help charter schools obtain more favorable bond financing terms. * The creation and funding of a state charter school debt reserve fund. * The inclusion of charter schools in school district bonding requests. * A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for charter school facilities.