The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week announced plans to help expand the Houston charter school sector by providing $30 million in bond guarantees to leverage financing for facilities at favorable terms.
The first beneficiary is KIPP Houston, a local network of Knowledge Is Power Program charter schools that is using the assistance to access $67 million in tax-exempt bonds for expansion plans.
Other charter organizations in Houston, such as YES Prep Public Schools, will have the option of making use of the financing as well. Getting money for school facilities has long been seen as one of the toughest barriers for growing the charter sector.
A version of this article appeared in the November 18, 2009 edition of Education Week as Gates Foundation to Help Charters With Bond Guarantees for Facilities