LISC has been awarded $6.9 million by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. We will use this support to “expand access to capital and in many cases lower the cost of capital for schools. This in turn keeps scarce resources in the classroom, paying for great teachers, curriculum and other program supports,” said Sara Sorbello, LISC’s Vice President of Charter School Financing.
A good school is critical for the success of our children and the communities where they live. That’s why we created SchoolBuild, the first-ever online guide to help charter schools learn what it takes, and how much it costs, to build a school. And now, SchoolBuild has been recognized with an Excellence in New Communications award by the prestigious Conference Board and the Society of New Communications Research.
After years of guiding charter school facilities development, LISC has bottled its knowledge in a new platform: SchoolBuild: From Idea to Construction. SchoolBuild is an essential online resource to support charter school leaders as they dig into the process of creating a bricks-and-mortar facility, with advice on everything from cost projections to financing options and the many other steps required to bring a new school to life.
Is it possible to put more dollars into charter school classrooms without increasing the cost to taxpayers? A new study by LISC and Charter School Advisors on the charter school bond market says it is. Three states have developed programs that extend their strong credit ratings to qualified schools so they can raise low-cost capital to build and expand. That saves schools millions of dollars in borrowing costs that are then redirected to meet the needs of teachers and kids. LISC's Reena Abraham noted that academic performance is a key indicator of credit quality. "Good schools have proven to be good investments."
Funding charter school facilities can be a perfectly sound investment in quality education for low-income communities--if lenders and investors scrutinize a school’s track record, says a report by LISC and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Too often, funders don’t look at data indicating whether a school might not repay a loan, or even close. Good communication with authorizers is a key to good investment.