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Facilities Funds/Facilities Assistance

At the present time, 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted charter school laws, so this database only contains information for them. It does not contain any information for the 10 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Does the state provide facilities funds or other facilities assistance to charter schools?
Alaska : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Charter schools may operate in a vacant school district facility or any other facility if the local superintendent determines that it meets health and safety requirements.
Arizona : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Non-profit charter schools may apply for bond financing from Industrial Development Authorities. The state department of education must annually publish a list of vacant and unused portions of buildings that are owned by the state or by school districts and that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. Although authorizing legislation for a charter school stimulus fund remains in place, it is currently not funded.
Arkansas : Charter Schools (2005) No.
California : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The charter schools revolving loan fund allows charter schools to receive loans for as much as $250,000, allowing up to five years for repayment. A school district is generally required to provide facilities "rent free" to charter schools for students who reside in the district. A lease aid funding program for charter schools in low-income areas provides up to $750 per student.
Colorado : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Capital construction funds have been appropriated and are provided to qualified charter schools in the amount of $332.40 per pupil to assist with capital construction needs. The Educational and Cultural Facility Authority (ECFA) may issue bonds on behalf of charter schools. The charter school debt reserve fund enhances charter schools' ability to borrow funds from ECFA and to obtain more favorable rates. If space is available in a school district facility, a charter school may not be charged for that space, although other costs for facilities operations and maintenance must be negotiated. School districts are required to invite charter schools to discuss their capital construction needs prior to submitting a request to the voters or floating a bond for facilities funding, although the district is not required to include the charter schools as part of their requests or bonds.
Connecticut : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. A state charter school that is renewed is eligible for a one-time grant of $500,000 to assist it in financing school building projects, general improvements in school buildings and repayment of debt incurred for prior school building projects. Also, charter schools may apply for low-interest loans from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
Delaware : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. School districts must make unused buildings or space in buildings available for charter schools and must bargain in good faith over the cost of rent, services and maintenance related to such space. In addition, the state department of education and state department of administrative services must publish a list of all vacant and unused buildings and portions of buildings owned by the state or school districts that may be suitable for charter schools.
District of Columbia : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The amount is based on a five year moving average of capital funds available to the school system. The mayor and the District of Columbia government must give preference to charter schools with respect to the purchase, lease or contract for the use of certain public facilities or properties.
Florida : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state provides a per-pupil payment on an annual basis to charter schools for their facilities costs in the amount of $835, $957.40 and $1,266.93 for elementary, middle and high schools. The state also provides an exemption from ad valorem taxes for facilities used to house charter schools. If a school district surplus facility or property is available, it must be provided for a charter school's use on the same basis as it is made available to other public schools in the school district. For an existing public school converting to charter status, no rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or for the property normally inventoried to the conversion school may be charged by the district school board to the parents and teachers organizing the charter school.
Georgia : Charter Schools (2005) The state board of education may require a local referendum of the qualified voters in a local school system in which a state chartered special school will be located. Such referendum is held for the purpose of deciding whether the local school board must provide funds from school tax levies to support the state chartered special school or incur bonded indebtedness or both.
Hawaii : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Idaho : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state's charter school law authorizes a charter school's board of directors to borrow money as a nonprofit corporation to finance the purchase of school building facilities. Subject to the terms of such a contractual agreement, the board may use the facility as collateral for the loan.
Illinois : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. A charter school may negotiate and contract with a school district, the governing body of a state college or university or public community college or any other public or for-profit or nonprofit private entity for the use of a school building.
Indiana : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Charter schools that are sponsored by the mayor of Indianapolis may obtain facilities financing from the local public improvement bond bank.
Iowa : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Kansas : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Louisiana : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Depending upon legislative appropriations, each start-up charter school shall receive for each student based on average daily membership in the charter school for the first five years of its existence an amount equaling the average per student budgeted amount for each of those five years by the district in which the charter school is located for facility acquisition and construction services. Local school boards must make available to chartering groups any vacant school facilities or any facility slated to be vacant for lease or purchase at fair market value.
Maryland : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Massachusetts : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Facilities funding is embedded into the tuition formula for commonwealth charters. The FY06 facilities tuition rate is based on a statewide average of $776.
Michigan : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Minnesota : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. State grants are available for facility improvement. The state provides lease aid to charter schools in the amount of 90% of lease costs or $1,500 per-pupil. With approval of the state department of education, charter schools may lease space from public or private nonprofit, nonsectarian organizations and from sectarian organizations.
Mississippi : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Missouri : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. A school district may incur bonded indebtedness or take other measures to provide for physical facilities for charter schools that it sponsors or with which it contracts.
Nevada : Charter Schools (2005) No. However, a charter school may contract with the local school board of the school district in which the charter school is located or the University and Community College System of Nevada for the provision of facilities to operate the charter school.
New Hampshire : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Charter schools may lease, through the school district, buildings that receive state school building aid.
New Jersey : Charter Schools (2005) No. However, the state allows charter schools to use federal funds for facility construction.
New Mexico : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. $4,000,000 was appropriated from the public school capital outlay fund to the public school capital outlay council for expenditure in fiscal year 2006 for the purpose of making lease payments for classroom facilities, including facilities leased by charter schools. A school district shall provide a charter school with available facilities for the school's operations unless the facilities are currently used for other educational purposes. A charter school shall not be required to pay rent for the school district facilities if the facilities can be provided at no cost to the school district. If facilities are available but cannot be provided at no cost to the school district, the school district shall not charge more than the actual direct cost of providing the facilities. A charter school may pay the costs of operation and maintenance of its facilities or may contract with the school district to provide facility operation and maintenance services. Charter school facilities are eligible for state and local capital outlay funds and shall be included in the school district's five-year facilities plan.
New York : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state must annually publish a list of vacant and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings that are owned by the state and that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. At the request of a charter school or a prospective applicant, a school district shall make available a list of vacant and unused school buildings and vacant and unused portions of school buildings, including private school buildings, within the school district that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. The state defines charter schools as public agents that are eligible to obtain tax-exempt financing on their own. Although authorizing legislation for a charter school stimulus fund has been enacted, the state has not provided monies to the fund.
North Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. At the request of a charter school, the local school board of the school district in which the charter school is located shall lease any available building or land to the charter school unless the board demonstrates that the lease is not economically or practically feasible or that the local board does not have adequate classroom space to meet its enrollment needs. Also, a local school board may provide a school facility to a charter school free of charge, but the charter school is responsible for the maintenance of and insurance for the school facility. Charter schools may lease space from sectarian organizations so long as sectarian symbols are removed. The North Carolina Educational Facilities Finance Authority may issue bonds on behalf of charter schools.
Ohio : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Charter schools may use loans guaranteed under the Facilities Loan Guarantee Program for the construction of new school buildings.
Oklahoma : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The charter school incentive fund provides support for costs associated with renovating or remodeling existing buildings and structures for use by a charter school.
Oregon : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Pennsylvania : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state department of education calculates an approved reimbursable annual rental charge for leases of buildings or portions of buildings for charter school use which have been approved by the secretary of education on or after July 1, 2001. This charge is the lesser of (1) the annual rental payable under the provisions of the approved lease agreement or (2) the product of the enrollment times $160 for elementary schools, $220 for secondary schools or $270 for area vocational-technical schools.
Puerto Rico : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Rhode Island : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. A school district may access aid for reimbursement of school housing costs for school district sponsored charter schools. Charter schools not sponsored by a school district may apply for 30% reimbursement of school housing cost on a need basis.
South Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state department of education must make available, upon request, a list of vacant and unused buildings and vacant and unused portions of buildings that are owned by school districts and that may be suitable for the operation of a charter school. If a school district declares a building surplus and chooses to sell or lease the building, a charter school's board of directors or a charter committee operating or applying within the school district must be given the first refusal to purchase or lease the building under the same or better terms and conditions as it would be offered to the public.
Tennessee : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The chartering authority may endorse the submission of a qualified zone academy bond application to the local taxing authority, if the project is a qualified project.
Texas : Charter Schools (2005) No. An approved bonding authority, however, may issue bonds to finance or refinance education facilities to be used by an authorized charter school.
Utah : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. The state has created a charter school revolving loan fund. This fund provides loans to charter schools for the costs of constructing, renovating, and purchasing charter school facilities. This fund was initially capitalized with $2,000,000 in the 2003 general legislative session.
Virginia : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. No rent may be charged, and other fees are negotiable.
Wisconsin : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Wyoming : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. If a school district deems it has available space, the charter school may use the space without having to pay rent for it.


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