Eye on Education

Charters Schools Struggle to Find Space to Operate

school hallway with lockers

Christopher Webb / Flickr

In starting a new charter school, finding space to house the school is often one of school founders’ biggest challenges. But this year, for the first time, Ohio lawmakers set aside money for charter schools to use on facilities.

Charter school advocates say the new money will help charter schools, but still falls short of what charter schools would like.

“It’s not nearly enough, but at least it’s a step in the right direction,” Stephanie Klupinski of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools told us earlier this month.

Education Week reports:

Unlike regular public school systems, which can seek taxpayer-backed bonds for school construction and renovation, many charter schools have no mechanism in place to offset their facilities costs. And while some of the larger charter networks have more experience and financial track records to fall back on, startup charters are hit particularly hard when seeking loans and other financial assistance because of their lack of a financial history, experts on the sector say.

In addition, charters’ contracts with their authorizers tend to range from three to five years, while loans are typically paid back over several decades, making banks wary of lending to the schools for fear that their contracts will not be renewed.

Under the new state budget, Ohio charter schools will get about $100 per student for facilities.



  • jonshore

    Stephanie Klupinski of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools is committing the “sin of omission” and is not mentioning the $145,000,000. in “New Market Tax Credits” that OHIO received! Charter schools are getting more than their fair share for the students they serve!

    The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) is a non-refundable TAX CREDIT that provides investors with a 39% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT (not to be confused with tax return). Investors must retain their interest in a qualified equity investment throughout a seven-year period, or risk forfeiture of that interest. The tax credit enables community development entities (CDEs) to raise private capital to acquire, construct, renovate or lease academic facilities in partnership with charter school operators.

    The NMTC expired on December 31, 2011, and after heavy lobbying from a “coalition of education reformers” disappointedly, on April 17, 2013, President Obama signed a permanent extension of the NMTC without placing the safeguards that would prevent a corporate greed “get even more rich” scheme. These ed reform poverty pimps want to bring public schools into their portfolio of charter segregation academies! Don’t be hoodwinked, charter schools are not about educating poor urban children, this is about poverty-pimp “investors” making and keeping their money!




  • art vandelay

    I think state impact Ohio needs to launch a full media blitz on the poor results community charter schools provide students and how they have fewer requirements than public schools.

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