School Choice & Charters

Partnership Helps Indianapolis Charters Get Places of Their Own

February 12, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An unusual public-private partnership in Indianapolis is helping charter schools get access to money for buildings at favorable rates.

Launched in 2005, the Indianapolis Charter Schools Facilities Fund has made up to $20 million in loans available to charter schools sponsored by the mayor’s office.

Eligible charters can borrow tax-exempt money for acquiring, constructing, or renovating facilities. The schools pay lower rates on those loans because of the backing of the city and other partners in the initiative, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based philanthropy.

“We wanted to do everything we could to reduce barriers to enter into the [charter] sector,” said David Harris, the former charter schools director for Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, a leading proponent of charter schools who left office in January after being defeated for re-election.

See Also

Return to the main story,

Help for Charters in Race for Space

“It’s hard for charter schools to borrow money oftentimes on their own, period, and when they do, they have to pay pretty high interest rates,” said Mr. Harris, who is now the chief executive officer of The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis nonprofit group that supports entrepreneurial ventures in education, including charter schools. “This gives them an access point, but also to do so at a very favorable interest rate.”

The Casey Foundation and the Educational Facilities Financing Center of Local Initiatives Support Corp., a New York City nonprofit, each put up $1 million in loan guarantees to help leverage funding for charters in Indianapolis.

A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education is further underwriting the effort. The city of Indianapolis has put its “moral obligation” behind the loans as a guarantee, pledging to seek appropriations if the program’s debt-service reserve fund becomes depleted.

The partnership also involves JPMorgan Chase Bank. The loan program is administered by the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank.

Coverage of new schooling arrangements and classroom improvement efforts is supported by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation.
A version of this article appeared in the February 13, 2008 edition of Education Week as Partnership Helps Indianapolis Charters Get Places of Their Own

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion What's the State of Charter Schools Today?
Even though there's momentum behind the charter school movement, charters face many of the same challenges as traditional public schools.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters As Private School Choice Grows, Critics Push for More Guardrails
Calls are growing for more scrutiny over where state funds for private school choice go and how students are faring in the classroom.
7 min read
Illustration of completed tasks, accomplishment, finished checklist, achievement or project progression concept. Person holding pencil tick all completed task checkbox.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters How a District Hopes to Save an ESSER-Funded Program
As a one-time infusion of federal funding expires, districts are searching for creative ways to keep programs they funded with it running.
6 min read
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020.
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020. In Montana, a district hopes to save a virtual instruction program by converting it into a charter school.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
School Choice & Charters Q&A How the Charter School Movement Is Changing: A Top Charter Advocate Looks Back and Ahead
Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, plans to step down as leader of the group at the end of the year.
6 min read
Nina Rees, CEO of the National Public Charter School Association.
Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, emphasizes that she has "always thought of [charter schools] as laboratories of innovation with the hopes of replicating those innovations in district-run schools."
Courtesy of McLendon Photography