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Creating successful schools, deep in the heart of Texas

A LISC partnership in Houston helps charter schools fill the need for high-quality education in underserved neighborhoods through a smart bond program.

For nearly 15 years, LISC has been financing school facilities in innovative ways to help meet the educational needs of low-income students. In Houston, LISC partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and KIPP Houston to improve charter school access to the tax-exempt bond market. The Foundation provided a $30 million guarantee, matched by participating charter schools and LISC to secure $300 million in bond financing to expand the number of high-quality public charter schools in Houston. Last month, Fitch Ratings re-rated the education revenue bonds, calling their outlook "stable."

Proceeds from the bonds have been used to build or expand 14 schools on KIPP campuses. As a result, KIPP Houston is meeting the surging demand for its academic program and now serves nearly 11,500 students. Fifty-four percent of KIPP graduates complete college, versus 6 percent of low-income students nationally. Over the next decade, the program will enable KIPP Houston to grow its network to 42 public schools serving 21,000 students.

Read "Fitch Affirms KIPP, Inc.'s (TX) 2009 Revs at 'BB+'; Outlook Stable,"Business Wire, February 18, 2015.