Afton advised a charter school bond debt insurer on a series of workouts, advisory planning, and refinancing options
Afton has been retained by ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation to perform a series of financial advisory work, including reviewing existing business plans and practices, understanding the competitive landscape, and advising on short- and long-term refinancing opportunities. Afton’s work has included performing full operating, academic and financial reviews of multiple bondholders that were undergoing significant change (including the loss of a charter). Afton worked with bondholders, school leadership, local charter board members and elected officials to help facilitate an exit strategy that benefitted all parties involved, especially the families and children attending the impacted schools.
Afton has since been retained by ACA to perform reviews of other charter school holdings, with a focus on sustainability and long-term viability of each school and network, which stems from a focus on strong financial controls, transparent reporting of clear, accurate, relevant financial data, and timely reporting of academic results.
It is imperative to integrate specific reporting requirements as part of the bond agreement, from the start. Schools can now report timely, accurate, relevant data on three of the most critical areas to lenders – a) financial results (including cash flow), b) enrollment (and wait list), c) academic performance (vs. accountability standards). More proactive reporting will help Charters minimize their cost of capital, and ensure a more competitive, robust marketplace for facilities financing.
Board members should be trained on financial requirements of all interested parties, especially as a charter network (or district) enters into a financing arrangement. Board training should be supported with effective management reporting to address and highlight opportunities and challenges the organization faces, whether it is growing organically or expanding rapidly.