Editor's note: This article was published as part of our April 2013 report on "23 things you need to know about charter schools."
Competition for grants, loans, and bond financing among charter schools is heating up, so make your clients aware of these potential sources recommended by experts we consulted for our charter schools report:
1. Opportunity Finance Network (www.opportunityfinance.net), a national network of community development financial institutions, known as CDFIs.
2. Charter School Development Corporation (www.csdc.org), a CDFI with a focus on charter schools that serve predominately low-income students and communities with poorly performing public schools.
3. Partners for the Common Good (www.pcgloanfund.org), a nonprofit community investment corporation.
4. The Reinvestment Fund (www.trfund.com), which finances charter schools in the Mid-Atlantic states.
5. Local Initiatives Support Corp. (www.lisc.org), a nonprofit group that supports charters serving low-income neighborhoods.
6. State and local finance funds, such as the Illinois Finance Fund (www.iff.org). In Los Angeles, where 12% of public school children attend charters, the Los Angeles Unified School District has allocated $30 million from Proposition 39 bonds to “augment” up to 35% of the cost of a qualifying charter construction plan. So far, three projects have been approved.