Bronx Charter School for Excellence (Bronx, NY)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement

In 2013 Charter School Financing Partnership (CSFP), a consortium of five CDFIs, credit enhanced $24 million in bonds ($23.31 million tax-exempt) to serve Bronx Charter School for Excellence in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. The financing allowed the school to acquire and renovate a previously leased facility along with an adjacent lot, and construct 50,000 square feet of new space. The expanded facility will allow the school to increase its enrollment from 519 to 756 students in K-8, bring its elementary and middle schools to one location, and provide long-term security of facility ownership. The members of CSFP are Housing Partnership Network, Capital Impact Partners, Low Income Investment Fund (which sourced the transaction for CSFP), The Reinvestment Fund, Raza Development Fund, Community Reinvestment Fund.

Charles R. Drew Charter School (Atlanta, GA)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Treasury New Markets Tax Credit

The Charles R. Drew Charter School (Drew), opened in 2000, was the first charter school in the Atlanta Public School system. The school is currently ranked first academically within the Atlanta Public School system and serves more than 1,000 students from pre-K through grade 8. Founded by the East Lake Foundation, a member of the Purpose Built Communities network, the school was launched to serve as the anchor for revitalization in the East Lake neighborhood. When Drew was founded, only 5% of 5th graders met the state’s minimum math standards. Now, over 98% of its 5th grade students meet or exceed state standards in reading, math and social sciences.  The Low Income Investment Fund allocation of New Markets Tax Credits are helping to finance the construction of a new 200,000-square-foot educational facility and grow to include a high school. The new Charles R. Drew Junior and Senior Academy will double student population, enabling Drew to educate 2,000 students in pre-K through 12th grade. The LEED-Gold certified building will feature 14 science labs, a 500 seat performance space, a full-size outdoor track field, two gymnasiums and an outdoor amphitheater.

The Equity Project (New York, NY)

Financing Features:         New Markets Tax Credits; U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement

The Equity Project Charter School (TEP) first opened in September 2009 with the goal of closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their higher-income peers. Currently, the middle school serves 480 students and operates out of 30 classroom trailers. Washington Heights, the neighborhood around TEP, has a 25.6% poverty rate. Additionally, 89% of TEP students are eligible for free or reduced lunches. TEP believes that exceptional teachers are the most important factor in achieving educational equity for low-income students, as a result they invest heavily in the salaries and the professional development of their teachers. The Equity Project is planning to build a $37 million middle school facility from the ground up, less than a mile from their current site. The new facility will include 20 classrooms, a full kitchen and cafeteria, a regulation-size gym, a performance space for TEP’s music program, and outdoor spaces for dining, recreation, and gardening. The financing for the project was made possible through $12.27 million in New Markets Tax Credits allocations from The Community Builders ($7 million), LISC ($3.7 million), and Capital One ($2 million), a $17.25 million loan from Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group and LISC, and a $2.7 million bridge loan from LISC and Building Hope. Capital One is also providing $4.3 million in NMTC equity.

KIPP Charter School (Charlotte, NC)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement

KIPP Charlotte opened in the fall of 2007 with 90 fifth grade students and is the second KIPP network school to open in the state of North Carolina. LISC provided a $600,000 loan to fund the acquisition and construction of a 7,936 square foot, eight-classroom modular facility. The financing enabled KIPP Charlotte to serve 86 additional students. The middle school’s campus grew from 274 students in grades 5-7 to its full enrollment of 360 students in grades 5-8. The credit enhancement allowed LISC to provide a partially unsecured loan. The school would not have been able to secure other financing due to lack of real estate collateral. The KIPP Foundation provided $450,000 in credit enhancement for the LISC loan and the balance is unsecured; however, LISC’s ED grant is available as credit enhancement as well.

Harlem RBI DREAM Charter School (East Harlem, NY)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Treasury New Markets Tax Credit

Harlem RBI began in 1991 when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem. Today, Harlem RBI serves more than 1,500 East Harlem and South Bronx boys and girls in kindergarten through college with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2008, Harlem RBI opened DREAM Charter School to deepen its impact in the community. DREAM Charter School currently serves 350 youth in grades K-6 and will grow one grade (50 students) each year until it reaches capacity with a total of 450 students in grades K-8. Harlem RBI and DREAM, in partnership with the City of New York, Civic Builders and Jonathan Rose Companies, broke ground on the East Harlem Center for Living and Learning in 2013. The Nonprofit Finance Fund, JPMorgan Chase, National Community Investments Fund and Urban America provided Harlem RBI and DREAM with $27 million in NMTC allocation that financed the construction of the 58,000 square foot facility. This new building will house under one roof Harlem RBI’s new offices, DREAM Charter School and 87 units of affordable housing for East Harlem families. The project will enable this high performing non-profit and charter school to expand enrollment and consolidate operations.

Heketi Community Charter School (South Bronx, NY)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement & U.S. Department of Treasury New Markets Tax Credits

The Heketi Community Charter School (Heketi) opened in September 2012 in temporary space in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx, with 92 Kindergarten and first grade students. Heketi will eventually serve 305 students in grades K through 5. The poverty level in the South Bronx exceeds 35%, and 90% of the students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Heketi offers an extended day and extended year program, an integrated curriculum featuring data-driven instruction, a focus on literacy and support for English Language Learners, and heavy investment in social and emotional support for students and their families. Heketi will lease a new 30,000 square foot school facility in a former warehouse being renovated by Civic Builders, Inc. (Civic), a CSLC member. Civic also provided New Markets Tax Credits and allocated USDOE Credit Enhancement to support the project. Three other CSLC members participated in the financing: Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) provided New Markets Tax Credits; LIIF, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and Boston Community Capital (BCC) provided leverage debt.

Marion P. Thomas Charter School (Newark, NJ)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement & U.S. Department of Treasury New Markets Tax Credits

Marion P. Thomas Charter School opened in 1999 to offer new opportunities to 60 Newark children and their families. Under the mantra “it takes a whole village to raise a child,” the independent community-based school provided a diverse curriculum, incorporated visual and performing arts into the classroom, and included a variety of afterschool clubs and activities. For 15 years, Marion P. Thomas has achieved a consistently high academic performance while maintaining a focus on character development and critical thinking skills that benefit its students both inside and outside of the classroom. Marion P. Thomas has also now expanded to over 600 K-8 Newark students, thanks in large part to the support of New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC). In the last ten years, NJCC has provided the school with loans, credit enhancements, and New Markets Tax Credit Investments totaling almost $6 million, helping it to acquire and expand a new facility. This expansion has allowed the school to serve more students, consolidate its classrooms in one location, and improve the efficiency of its management. As the school begins serving pre-k students and adds a high school, NJCC continues to support it every step of the way.

Tunbridge Public Charter School (Baltimore, MD)

Financing Features:         U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement

In June of 2013, TRF financed a loan to Tunbridge Public Charter School (TPCS) a Baltimore City charter school and current TRF borrower. The loan supports improvements to a former convent in order to enable the school to expand to operate a middle school program in this space. Tunbridge opened in fall 2010 after TRF closed a loan to finance the acquisition of a former parochial school building and convent as well as renovations to the building. The school has grown its elementary program in the school building, serving 176 students in K-3 in its first year of operation to 286 students in K-5 during the 2012-2013 school year. Adding one grade per year, Tunbridge will eventually serve 436 students in K-8 between both the school building and former convent.