Walton Family Foundation Launches Two Funds to Support Charter Schools
The Walton Family Foundation has created two non-profit funds, totaling $300 million, to support public charter schools with low-cost loans to pay for new facilities and building renovations.
The Charter Impact Fund, with $200 million in seed funding, will provide long-term, fixed-rate loans, similar to a home mortgage, to high-performing charter schools anywhere in the country. The CIF’s revolving-loan fund—a model used to successfully finance clean water projects and affordable housing—is the first fund of its kind for public charter schools. The low-interest loans will pay up to 100 percent of the cost of finding, securing and renovating facilities.
Meanwhile, the $100 million Facilities Investment Fund, created in collaboration with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and managed by Civic Builders, will offer schools five-year, fixed-rate loans for up to 90 percent of construction or facility renovation costs. FIF loans are the only short-term loans that provide public charter schools up to $20 million in funding, at low interest rates and a high-percentage of project costs.
The funds are supported through the foundation’s Building Equity Initiative, which has brought together a network of real estate experts, lenders, financiers, and technical assistance providers to help public charter schools finance and secure facilities.