NMTCs Fund School Purchase, Keep More Dollars in Classroom

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The November issue of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits features a story about LIIF’s investment in the development of a campus for high-performing charter schools in Los Angeles, CA. Green Dot Public Schools is a leading charter management organization in Los Angeles with 18 schools that serve 8,300 students, 94% of whom are low income. The project was funded through the JPMorgan Chase NMTC Fund for High-Performing Charter Schools. LIIF provided $10 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) as part of a $23 million transaction to enable Green Dot to acquire a permanent site for two of its schools. The site, which houses the Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High School and the Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School, currently serves over 1,000 students in grades 6 – 12. Excellent Education Development and NCB Capital Impact also provided NMTCs to the project.

On the border between a residential neighborhood and an industrial zone, Green Dot transformed two warehouses in South Los Angeles into a two-school, 77,000-square-foot campus with 50-plus classrooms and community and administrative spaces. The school provides educational opportunities for youth in an area where where 50% of students fail to graduate from high school. LIIF also provided a $2.2 million leverage loan as part of the NMTC transaction. Additional assistance came from the U.S. Department of Education’s Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program.

Brian Prater, LIIF’s Managing Director, Western Region, notes that, “It was a great fit from a mission perspective. Community facilities and charter schools are a big part of our work to increase opportunity for low-income youth.”

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Source: Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits