Is there equitable access to capital funding and facilities?
The law provides a per-pupil facilities aid program. In Fiscal Year 2016, the city is providing $3,177 per student for this program.Congress provides funding through the SOAR Act, which supports the City Build Charter School Initiative, a community revitalization effort with a particular emphasis on strengthening public charter schools. Most of the grants from this program have been allocated for facilities and expansion projects.
The law allows charter schools to access 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/or renovation of facilities for charter schools. The program offers guarantees or collateral pledges of up to $3 million for two to five years.
The law provides the Direct Loan Fund for Charter School Improvement, which provides flexible loan capital for the construction, purchase, renovation, and maintenance of charter school facilities. Loans are capped at $2 million per school. In FY 2009, $4.5 million in federal appropriations was earmarked for this initiative.
The law requires the mayor and the DC 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.