CCSA's Credit Enhancement Program: Supporting CCSA Member Facility Financing

March 22, 2013

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Given California's slow economic recovery, many California charter schools struggle to find the necessary financing to realize their facility goals. CCSA's credit enhancement program, the California Charter Building Fund (CCBF), helps to provide competitively-priced capital for member schools for the purchase, construction and renovation of facilities. Since 2005, CCSA has credit enhanced more than $200 million in facility deals supporting over 30 member schools.

Thanks in part to the CCBF, the following CCSA members secured facility deals over the past year, which will allow them to cumulatively serve an estimated additional 760 students:

  • Camino Nuevo - Jane B. Eisner Middle School
  • Equitas Academy
  • Fenton Primary Center
  • PUC - Community Charter Middle School ("CCMS")
  • PUC - Lakeview Charter Academy ("LCA")
  • PUC - Community Charter Early College High School ("CCHS")

Each school was able to obtain a competitive interest rate thanks to innovative financing organized by NCB Capital Impact that is supported by CCSA's credit enhancement.

"We share CCSA's passion and commitment to help charter schools create quality learning environments for low- and moderate-income students. We are excited to continue our long partnership with CCSA in these efforts so that more students can reach their highest potential," said Jennifer Afdahl Rice, Senior Loan Officer, NCB Capital Impact.

How does it work? CCSA received a federal credit enhancement from the Department of Education in 2007. CCSA uses this grant to provide enhancement, or a loss reserve, to help close the facility deals for member schools. There is a program requirement that recipients benefiting from the enhancement serve student bodies with a majority qualifying for free or reduced price lunch.

One of the most recent beneficiaries was Equitas Academy, a four-year old, stand-alone, charter elementary school (K-5) that opened in the fall 2009 in Los Angeles. The founder, Malka Borrego, has a strong personal commitment to her home community, which is both deeply impoverished and extremely dense. Elementary schools in the surrounding Pico Union area in need of program improvement and overcrowded.

The CCBF assisted Equitas by enhancing $4.6 million in financing to convert an existing one-story, 25,000 square-foot commercial and warehouse into a charter elementary school with a maximum enrollment of 450 students. The new building has 18 classrooms, a multi-purpose/lunch area, a teachers' lounge, and administrative offices. The school moved in to the new facility at the start of the 2012-13 school year.

"This new facility is the realization of my dream to have a school that would provide children in the area an education that would give them the opportunity to go to college," said Ms. Borrego.

For more information on the CCBF, please contact Joe Harrington, CCSA's Director, Strategic Partnerships.

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