Last week, at the National Charter School Conference in Las Vegas, we announced an innovative $500 million charter school facilities program to help charter schools nationwide address one of the charter school movement’s biggest challenges – securing facilities that meet the growing needs of charter schools. The formation of American Education Properties, LLC (AEP) brings together Charter School Capital and investment firm, American Infrastructure MLP Funds (AIM) to help solve the growing facilities needs of America’s charter schools.
The offering is unlike any other facilities financing options available on the market today. Charter schools will now be able to determine their own long-term facility needs and maintain full control of their buildings. This represents a major improvement from the year-to-year lease renewals that many charter schools currently experience. By providing long-term facilities security and an investment partner interested in charter school expansion, charter schools now have the ability to expand their enrollment and educational offerings with confidence.
What does this mean to charter schools?
- Charter schools now have the opportunity to provide the best facilities to match the needs of their educational programs as well as determine long-term facility needs while maintaining full control of their buildings.
- Schools will be empowered with the flexibility to make choices about what to do with their space so it best suits their faculty, staff and student community.
- Charter School Capital will work with all charter schools to facilitate the origination and sourcing, underwriting, asset administration, and property management.
Charter School Capital President and CEO, Stuart Ellis, noted, “The dramatic growth of charter schools – 13 percent in 2013 alone – makes it clear that facilities financing, which is already one of the industry’s largest challenges, will become an even more pressing issue during the coming years. In 2012, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) found that more than half of charter schools would outgrow their current facilities within five years. Collaborating with AIM in the formation of American Education Properties allows us to serve a broad array of charter schools nationwide by freeing-up resources that schools are then able to allocate to classroom instruction or other operational needs.”
The news has charter school advocates celebrating. “Nearly one million students nationwide are on charter school waiting lists. Charter school educators are eager to meet that demand. Fortunately, Charter School Capital has stepped up and created a solution to help parents,” states Caprice Young, President, Education Growth Group and founder and former CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. “These resources will open doors like never before! Public charter schools are now able to expand, offer new programs and customize their space to create the learning environment that best matches student needs.”
Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools added, ” By providing charter schools security in their facilities, this effort helps lift a burden many schools face and will enable schools to focus, as they should, on their students and their academic results. School administrators will be better able to direct their scarce resources and time toward educating students rather than worrying about real estate needs.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with Charter School Capital on this important initiative,” said Bob Hellman, CEO of the American Infrastructure MLP Funds. “Our goal is to help solve America’s infrastructure needs with innovative capital solutions, and we believe that charter schools represent a critical and growing piece of this infrastructure puzzle. We look forward to working with schools and communities in need of secure, long-term facilities to provide the resources to help them continue to grow and thrive.”
Since we made this charter school facilities announcement, the availability of funds has been mentioned in several news media including the Portland Business Journal and Reuters.
What are your facility challenges? Has the inability to secure the right type of facilities impacted your charter school’s ability to enroll and educate more students in your community? Share your experiences with us below or email our team at GrowCharters@charterschoolcapital.com.