LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Governor Joe Lombardo and Treasurer Zach Conine announced that the Nevada State Infrastructure Bank has approved a $100 million revolving loan fund that will expand access to high-quality charter schools in underserved communities.
According to a media release from the governor’s office, “This effort is the culmination of a bipartisan compromise that was made at the end of the 2021 Legislative Session to significantly increase revenues for K-12 education.” The release called today’s action by the State Infrastructure Bank “the largest single investment to expand high-performing charter schools in Nevada’s history.”
“As the largest charter school investment in state history, this investment will dramatically increase school choice opportunities in Nevada, especially in underserved communities,” said Governor Lombardo. “Coupled with our unprecedented investment into the state’s K-12 system, these funds represent our unwavering commitment to providing an education that meets the unique needs of students across the state.”
“Over the last two years, we have worked to build the State Infrastructure Bank as a tool that will move our State forward, while attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in capital from outside of the State of Nevada,” said Treasurer Zach Conine. “Because of these efforts, we can now expand access to high-quality K-12 education to kids in underserved communities for decades to come.”
The Nevada Facilities Fund (NVFF) will leverage $15 million from the State Infrastructure Bank with $85 million in outside funding to establish a $100 million revolving loan fund for charter school operators to expand their existing facilities and build new schools in the State. The NVFF will operate as a partnership between Opportunity 180, a local non-profit organization focused on supporting high-quality charter schools, and the Equitable Facilities Fund, which is a national social impact fund that has provided over $1 billion in financing to charter schools across the country.
According to the governor’s office, the NVFF is expected to produce an additional 7,500 high-quality public charter school seats for children in Nevada’s most disadvantaged communities. Approximately 70% of students attending schools supported by the NVFF will identify as people of color and 70% will qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Nevada charter school operators will be able to apply to the NVFF for financing to expand their current facilities, construct new buildings, or even refinance existing capital facilities. The NVFF will reportedly provide schools with the lowest interest rates possible to produce an estimated $20 million in savings to schools, allowing these dollars to go back into the classroom to support students and teachers.
Using the strongest labor and apprenticeship standards in Nevada, the NVFF is expected to create 948 jobs within the fund’s first five years of operations. The NVFF expects to make loans to charter school operators through at least 2042.
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