ImpactAlpha, April 10 – Lack of access to financing to build and improve facilities is among the biggest barriers to the expansion of high-quality charter schools (see, “Private financing for public education”). The foundation backed by the founders of Walmart is steering $300 million toward two loan funds that aim to make it easier for non-profit charter schools to access facilities financing.
- The $200 million Charter Impact Fund… will offer schools fixed-rate 30-year loans to acquire land or buildings, refinance existing debt, or to expand. The loans will cover as much as 100% of project costs.
- The $100 million Facilities Finance Fund… will offer five-year loans to cover up to 90% of new construction or renovation costs. The short-term fund is administered by Civic Builders, a public charter school developer, with backing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The funds are part of the Walton Family Foundation’s $250 million Building Equity Initiative, which aims to support public charter schools in finding, securing and renovating facilities.