State creates loan fund for charter school building projects
By Christin Nance Lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org June 27, 2012 5:00PM
Updated: July 29, 2012 4:48PM
State officials hope a new loan fund will ease the difficulties that charter schools experience in financing building projects.
The Charter School Facilities Loan Fund, which was established by legislation in 2011, will use $3.4 million in state funds to leverage into more than $12 million in loans. The revolving fund will be implemented by IFF, a not-for-profit community development financial institution that has worked with dozens of charter schools across the Midwest. Locally, the agency helped Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary and East Chicago Lighthouse Academy with financing.
Indiana Department of Education communications Director Stephanie Sample said that IFF was chosen from a request for proposals because it had the best track record. She said the Indiana General Assembly will need to approve any additional state money for the fund.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said the fund has the potential to “level the playing field” for charter school facilities funding.
All charter schools — whether new or experienced — are eligible for the loans, which can range from $10,000 to $1.5 million and have terms between 5 and 15 years. The loans can be used to acquire, renovate, construct or improve a property and cover up to 94 percent of project costs.
Schools looking for more information should visit iff.org/indiana-charter-schools or contact Director of School Services Tanya Vartivarian at email@example.com.