Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of SchoolBuild?

The purpose of SchoolBuild: From Idea to Construction is to eliminate the barrier to information that charter school leaders endure throughout the facility process. Making this information easier to access will ultimately make it easier for you to meet demand for charter school seats. Our research portal is meant to be a one-stop shop for charter schools, no matter their stage of facility development. You will be able to identify partners for the various phases of your construction project, identify your funding gap, and learn about best practices for completing facility projects.

 

Why should schools use SchoolBuild to guide them through the process of financing their facility?

Schools should use SchoolBuild because it is a clearinghouse of the best information and research available in the facility financing sector. In addition this research portal will be updated in real time so that users always have access to the most relevant information.

Is SchoolBuild free?

Yes, SchoolBuild: From Idea to Construction is free. SchoolBuild also does not collect any personal or financial information that you provide on the website.

What details or specific information do I need before I use SchoolBuild?

In general SchoolBuild is meant to be a space for learning. No prior knowledge or information is required.

For those who are planning to use our SchoolBuild Project Cost Calculator, it is helpful to have certain information on hand, as the calculator is meant to help you understand the difference between your project cost and any resources you have on hand. We recommend that you have enrollment figures, square footage needs, available equity, and state per-pupil funding numbers on hand for the most accurate financing-gap estimate. You will be able to adjust these numbers throughout your use of the calculator to understand how different scenarios may impact your final number.

Is SchoolBuild: From Idea to Construction a safe and secure tool to use?

The information that you enter on SchoolBuild can only be accessed and printed by you. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) does not save or store any of the information you share with the research portal.

Is LISC endorsing any private capital providers or service providers by listing them on SchoolBuild?

No. LISC’s intention in listing private capital providers and service providers in a directory is to make it easier for schools to connect with them. LISC is not endorsing or advocating a specific path and you will see the below disclaimer on almost every page of the site.

Legal Disclaimer:

Nothing in this material should be construed as investment, financial, brokerage, or legal advice. Moreover, the facts and circumstances relating to your particular project may result in material changes in the processes, outcomes, and expenses described herein. Consult with your own professional advisors, including your financial advisors, accountants, and attorneys, before attempting to consummate any transaction described in this material.

Where is the research for SchoolBuild coming from and is it credible?

The content guides and key document templates found within the “Understanding Your Needs” and “Essential Resources” sections of the site are either written by LISC staff or made available online as an excerpt from The Answer Key, a resource developed by Capital Impact Partners. The contributions of LISC and Capital Impact Partners are grounded in years of working with high-quality charter schools to secure the right facility financing for their needs.

The Project Cost Calculator is a joint venture between LISC and the Charter School Growth Fund. Numbers and assumptions are our best estimates given the current market.

Research on federal and state facility financing was led by Kitamba Consulting and includes independent research by LISC. Each financing program was independently verified with the relevant federal agency or state department of education, unless noted otherwise. State construction data is estimated from RSMeans Construction Cost database. Other state data comes from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Model Law Database. Average per-pupil revenue numbers are from 2014 and taken from the report Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands.

The private capital providers directory is survey-based. All information on those pages comes directly from the provider.

Please email schoolbuild@lisc.org for more information about sources and to request any additional resources that might be helpful to charter schools.