$5 Million U.S. Department of Education Grant to Expand LIIF’s Charter School Facility Programs

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The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) announced on Friday, June 29 that the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is one of four organizations to receive a grant through DoE’s Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Grants program. LIIF will use the $5 million grant to support 15 charter schools as they develop facilities for approximately 6,000 students in economically disadvantaged communities. The grant will be used as a source of credit enhancement to raise $32.5 million in private sector financing, providing a safe and attractive mechanism for financial institutions to invest in charter schools.

LIIF’s President and CEO Nancy O. Andrews noted, “This grant will enable us to expand our acquisition and construction facility loans not only in California, but also in New York and adjacent states. The need for quality educational options in low income communities is greater than ever. It is important for LIIF to respond to this need, since lack of quality facilities is one of the biggest barriers faced by charter schools across the country.”

In announcing the grants, U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, said, “Charter schools are one of the fastest-growing sources of school choice in American education today, but many can’t obtain financing for the facilities they need to house their schools.  These grants will help communities open up new spaces to charter schools so that, in turn, these schools can open their doors to new students.”

Other recipients of the DoE grants include Housing Partnership Inc. in Massachusetts, Illinois Facilities Fund, and Michigan Public Educational Facilities Authority.