PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The distribution of the first $75 million of $500 million in facilities funding marks one of the largest of its kind to date. This investment supports facilities at nine schools in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Washington, D.C., which educate roughly 4,550 Imagine Schools students, as well as students at two charter schools run by independent operators in Arizona and California.
With growing enrollment and nearly one million students on charter school waiting lists nationwide, charter school leaders need to find facilities that meet their needs, both now and in the future. American Education Properties, LLC (AEP), launched in June of this year, addresses this increasing challenge. AEP is a collaboration between Charter School Capital, the nation’s leading provider of working and growth capital to charter schools, and American Infrastructure MLP Funds (AIM), a leading private investment firm specializing in real property, infrastructure and natural resources businesses.
AEP enables school leaders to determine their long-term facility needs and retain control of their buildings, so they can focus on their mission of educating our children. With facilities financing in place, charter schools can expand their enrollment and academic offerings with confidence, knowing they can access and maintain the facilities to sustain their ongoing programs and growth.
“We are supporting one of the top needs charter schools face – facilities,” explained Stuart Ellis, President & CEO of Charter School Capital. “Charter School Capital has committed more growth capital to support the movement and now we are able to ensure that charters have the best facilities to meet their educational goals. With $500 million to invest over three years, we are dedicated to providing charter schools access to the capital they need to thrive.”
“We are pleased to have an organization that focuses on charter schools supporting our efforts and mission,” said James McFadden, Vice President and Treasurer of Imagine Schools. “Having a landlord who partners with us and others in the charter school movement to support the growth of schools makes our collaboration more meaningful.”
Imagine Schools is one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded charter school networks. Their unique, full-service model currently administers a single, multi-state “school district” with 67 schools across 11 states and the District of Columbia. With total enrollment at approximately 36,000 students, the network is larger than each public school district in Tacoma, Boise and Cincinnati. The model has been successful. Imagine was one of only three school districts in the nation to be named a "2013 National District of Character" by the Character Education Partnership for promoting positive character development in a school environment.
Charter schools often have difficulty accessing funding and affordable credit. Recently, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the value of charter school transactions, and Fitch Ratings downgraded the value of charter bonds. With its committed pool of capital, AEP enables schools to get the funding they need when they need it, without strings or fluctuating interest rates. Charter School Capital facilitates all origination and sourcing, underwriting, asset administration and property management for the program, so that “yes means yes” for all agreements.
“At a time when many are turning away from the needs of charter schools, we look forward to putting more dollars to work for charters of all sizes that will enable school leaders to focus on what they do best – educating students – while alleviating concerns about their schools’ facilities,” said Ellis.
About Charter School Capital:
Launched in 2006, Charter School Capital was founded to help provide flexible, low-risk and affordable working and growth capital to public charter schools, which historically have had fewer funding options and more difficulty accessing funds than traditional public schools. Charter School Capital has provided in excess of $700 million in funding to 400-plus charter schools providing high-quality education to 450,000 students across the United States. For more information, visit http://charterschoolcapital.org or email GrowCharters@charterschoolcapital.org.
About the American Infrastructure MLP Funds (AIM):
AIM is a private investment firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With approximately $1.5 billion is assets under management and a mission of “building partnerships that make a difference,” AIM specializes in investments in growing real property, natural resources and infrastructure businesses. For more information, visit www.aimlp.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.