California School Finance Authority

Charter School Facilities Credit Enhancement Grant Program

Designed to fund debt service reserves for the financing of acquisition, renovation, or construction of charter school facilities, or the refinancing of existing charter school facility debt.

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If you have any questions about the Charter School Facilities Credit Enhancement Grant program, please contact CSFA.

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The Charter School Facilities Credit Enhancement Grant Program is an $8.3 million program awarded by the U.S. Department of Education that serves to fund debt service reserves for the financing of acquisition, renovation, or construction of charter school facilities, or the refinancing of existing charter school facility debt.

Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools typically do not receive funding from their local school districts to purchase, lease, or improve facilities. Securing financing can be problematic for new charter schools because they often lack assets to pledge and operating histories that lenders can rely on to evaluate a loan application. As a result, charter schools frequently operate in temporary space that is poorly suited to their educational mission. The program is intended to absorb some of the risks of making loans to charter schools for their facility needs.

The California School Finance Authority (CSFA) was awarded this grant in 2009, and exceeded its leverage goal of 10:1 with an actual leverage ratio of 17:1.

*There is no current capacity under this Program as all $8.3 million was committed to current awardees. CSFA will notify the public via its ListServ should any funding become available.

Application Eligibility Criteria

An applicant charter school shall be eligible to apply for a reservation of funds if all of the following conditions are met:

  • An approved charter has been awarded and current at the time of application, throughout the application review and approval process and throughout the term of an award.
  • The charter school is in good standing with its chartering authority and is in compliance with the terms of its charter at the time of application submission.  CSFA will rely on information from the chartering authority regarding the charter school’s good standing and compliance with the terms of its charter.
  • The charter school has completed at least one school year of instructional operations under its current County-District-School (CDS) Code and charter number issued by the California Department of Education.
  • At least 80% of the classroom-based instruction offered by the charter school shall be at the financed school site, and the charter school shall attain an average daily attendance rate of at least 80% based on the charter school’s most recent California Basics Educational Data System (CBEDS) report.
  • The charter school is established pursuant to Education Code section 47600 et seq., and also meets the federal definition of charter school as defined in section 5210(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 USCA section 7221(i)), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  • The charter school admits students by lottery in the event more students want to attend the school than the school can accommodate.

Apply to the Program