Bond History

2011 Charter School Bond Issuance: A Complete History

With approximately 500 tax-exempt bond transactions completed to date, the charter school sector of the municipal market continues to gain size and momentum and has emerged as much more than a fragmented niche for high yield investors. The growth rate in the number of charter schools across the country - now exceeding 5,000 - is expected to increase due to the heightened focus that policymakers at all levels of government have placed on results-driven education reform. This growth will generate greater charter school demand for affordable facility financing, a demand that is well met by the tax-exempt bond market with its tax-exempt interest rates and longer principal repayment periods. To date, however, fewer than 8% of charter schools have accessed the market for their permanent facility financing needs.

Charter School Bond Issuance: A Complete History serves to provide greater transparency to the charter school sector of the municipal market for both investors and charter school borrowers. This data-rich compendium examines the 13-year history of the charter school tax-exempt bond sector, and for the first time:

  • Identifies the universe of 478 rated and unrated charter school bond transactions totaling over $5 billion undertaken by approximately 400 charter schools through year-end 2010.
  • Tracks basic bond data for all 478 issues, including par amount, issuer, jurisdiction, rating, credit enhancement, term and underwriter.
  • Provides cost and pricing information not previously available at scale, including underwriter’s discount and costs of issuance, as well as coupon, yield and spread to the triple-A Municipal Market Data Index (MMD) for select maturities.
  • Calculates the true borrowing cost, or All-In Cost, for fixed-rate issues with publicly available offering documents.
  • Examines the repayment performance of charter school borrowers and details the credit characteristics of the defaulted transactions.
  • Analyzes cost and pricing of charter school transactions based on a variety of factors, including issue timing, rating, credit enhancement, bond term and jurisdiction.

To request a hard copy of this report, please contact the EFFC at Also available here in spreadsheet form is data from particular sections of the report, including appendices C and D, as well as an expanded form of Appendix C that contains additional data not included in the report.