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Pioneer Charter School of Science Expands to New Campus With MassDevelopment Bond

March 26, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Al Dubin, CSDC, 617-913-5620

MassDevelopment has issued a $2.8 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), a community development financial institution that helps start-up and early-stage charter schools finance, build, and expand their facilities. CSDC is using bond proceeds for its purchase of a campus it will lease to the Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSS). In the project’s first year, PCSS II will enroll 180 students, with subsequent additions planned to house the school’s ultimate enrollment of 360 students in Saugus. East Boston Savings Bank purchased the bond.

“STEM education in Massachusetts is growing more important as careers become more high-tech, and charter schools like PCSS provide these opportunities to the Commonwealth's students,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to offer this low-cost financing so PCSS may expand its reach.”

Pioneer Charter School of Science II, which was chartered in 2013 to serve seventh through 12th grades, will replicate the existing PCSS I in Everett, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics based school ranked as the fourth highest charter school in the state by Boston Magazine. Scholarship funds for the PCSS class of 2013, all of whom were accepted into college, totaled $10.7 million. The PCSS mission is to provide a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on math and science, balanced by a strong foundation in the humanities, a character education program, career-oriented college preparation and strong student-teacher-parent collaboration.

“CSDC is honored to be a part of this collaboration with MassDevelopment, East Boston Savings Bank and the PCSS network of schools to bring this high-quality public education option to additional communities throughout the state,” said Rebecca Secrest, CSDC’s Vice President.

CSDC specializes in working with newly-formed and early-stage charter schools in their first few years of operation, with an added emphasis on schools located in low-income communities and/or communities with a significant number of underperforming district schools. CSDC is focused on helping to stabilize those schools so that they become independently creditworthy, without the need for CSDC’s further assistance, by virtue of their successful operating history and demonstrated ability to meet their enrollment goals and produce good academic and financial results. Since it was founded more than a decade ago, CSDC has provided or procured about $680 million in capital financing and facilities for 235 schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. CSDC’s business model has expanded in direct response to the growth of charter schools and their emerging financial sector.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.