Friday, September 21, 2007

LISC FUNDING (Seminal Conversations)

LISC and KIPP Schools Partner to Bridge Facility Gap for Underserved Students

6 Oct 2005 - New York, NY

$1 million loan is first step in developing facility infrastructure for charter schools First fund beneficiary KIPP Academy Houston provides relief for Katrina victims

New York, NY - As the first step in a long-term partnership to improve charter school facilities for students nationwide, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) has provided KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) with a $1 million loan to establish the KIPP Early Stage Revolving Fund that will help to build and renovate facilities for KIPP Schools nationwide. The KIPP charter schools of Houston—the first recipients of financing through the Fund—have partnered with the Houston Independent School District and Teach For America to start a sc hool open to Katrina refugees. LISC will support the investment with $150,000 in grant funds that will help individual school projects across the KIPP network of schools.

LISC and KIPP believe in helping schools to help themselves when it comes to facilities. LISC's grants and loan will compel schools to become more involved and literally invested in acquiring their facilities. The $1 million loan from LISC's Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC), along with a loan from Raza Development Fund, will finance KIPP's short-term needs for temporary classrooms, renovation projects, and bridge financing.

"We are extremely grateful to LISC for this critical investment in our new facilities fund. This support by LISC represents not only an investment in blueprints, bricks, and mortar, but a down payment on the education and future of thousands of KIPP children," says KIPP Co-Founder Mike Feinberg.

The KIPP charter schools of Houston will be the first beneficiaries to receive Fund financing. In 2006, KIPP will expand from four to seven charter schools—four middle, two pre-K, and one high school. In addition, on October 3, the leadership of KIPP Houston in partnership with the Houston Independent School District and Teach For America, started a new school open to K-8 Katrina refugees. The school, named NOW College Prep (New Orleans West), will be housed in the former Douglass Elementary School. The NOW College Prep staff will consist of teachers from Phillips College Preparatory, the KIPP Transformation School in New Orleans, and Teach For America corps members—both displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

As documented in LISC's May 2005 study, the first comprehensive overview of public and private non-profit sources of facility financing for charter schools, most states, including Texas, do not provide charter schools with facility funding comparable to that of other public schools. Thus, charter schools face significant obstacles in developing and financing their buildings.

LISC and KIPP are working together to overcome such obstacles. "We look forward to partnering extensively with KIPP to help meet both the short and long-term facilities needs of the KIPP network of schools. KIPP is dedicated to providing a rigorous and rewarding academic environment, and we at LISC are proud to help it expand and improve the facilities that house these students," says Barbara Page, Vice President of Education Programs at LISC.

With this loan, the EFFC has approved more than $8 million of investment in four funds across the country and granted $750,000 for technical assistance and pre-development. These fund investments will help support nearly $160 million in facility financing for more than 65 schools over the next five years. In addition, LISC has approved $30 million in financing for 58 charter schools in ten states and the District of Columbia.

About LISC

LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $6 billion to build or rehab nearly 160,000 affordable homes and develop 25 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide.

About the EFFC

The Educational Facilities Financing Center at LISC supports quality public charter and alternative schools in distressed neighborhoods. LISC founded the EFFC in 2003 to intensify its national effort in educational facilities financing. The EFFC pools low-interest loans and leverages them for investment in charter and alternative school facilities in order to create new or renovated school facilities for underserved children, families, and neighborhoods nationally. The EFFC is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, Prudential Insurance, and the U.S. Department of Education's Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program.

About KIPP

KIPP was started by teachers Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin in1994 in Houston, TX after completing their two-year commitment with Teach For America. In 2000, Doris and Donald Fisher, co-founders of Gap Inc, formed a partnership with Feinberg and Levin to replicate KIPP's success nationwide. KIPP now has a network of 45 public schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia and has been widely recognized for narrowing the achievement gap in public education and putting underserved students on the path to college. Ninety percent of KIPP alumni who were high school seniors this year earned acceptance to college.

Article Type: Press Release

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