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MassDevelopment Receives $2.3 Million U.S. Department of Education Grant to Help Charter Schools

July 29, 2013

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

MassDevelopment has received a $2,328,612 U.S. Department of Education grant to help charter schools obtain facilities under the Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities Program (Credit Enhancement). The Agency, which has received $15 million through three grant rounds of this program, will help charter schools by issuing guarantees on a portion of a loan or bond made to a school to improve its facility. With its own resources, these grants, and private sources to provide loan guarantees for Massachusetts charter schools, MassDevelopment has a fund of more than $21 million for this guarantee program.

“Every child deserves a high-quality education in a safe learning environment,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants help ensure that children learn in adequate facilities. The Credit Enhancement program supports charter schools, helps put the schools on stable financial footing and allows us all to continue working towards President Obama’s goal of leading the world in college graduates by the year 2020.”

“MassDevelopment’s charter school facilities loan guarantee program has significantly leveraged private investment into public school facilities, providing a crucial service to charter schools seeking long-term sustainability for their educational programs,” said Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. “We appreciate the U.S. Department of Education’s continuing support for the development of facilities for the growing number of public school students served by Massachusetts’ high-quality charter schools.”

The Credit Enhancement program awards grants based on a competitive preference priority that rewards applicants for targeting funds to areas with the greatest need for public school choice. MassDevelopment has used its guarantee program to invest in Massachusetts schools such as Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in East Harwich, Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, and Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis.

“The Commonwealth’s educated workforce is one of its most important assets thanks to the quality and variety of our schools,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We thank the U.S. Department of Education for its belief in our guarantee program and look forward to helping more Massachusetts charter schools.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2012, MassDevelopment financed or managed 280 projects generating investment of more than $2.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 12,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 900 residential units.