The junk-rated Chicago Board of Education completed an up-sized bond sale on Thursday with a pricing that indicated an easing in the municipal market penalty the district has been forced to pay due to its deep financial problems.
The awards are the first since the Legislature agreed last year to set aside $100 million to help privately run charter schools borrow money at lower interest rates. The state is effectively guaranteeing that lenders will not miss payments.
Senate Bill 1480, which would allocate an additional $3 billion of the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds, passed the Senate Monday, with four Republicans voting against the measure. The $30 billion Permanent School Fund, the largest education endowment in the country, guarantees bonds from traditional school districts and charter schools, allowing them to borrow money for construction at lower interest rates.
Blended Learning uses school time in a unique way, combining online instruction with traditional methods and giving students more agency over how, when, and where they learn. That third variable, the “where,” calls for some serious rethinking of how school space is organized and deployed. In our architectural practice, we have found that design either supports or frustrates a school’s mission—it is never an “innocent bystander.”
Spending gaps per student, a key metric tracked in Heming and Filardo’s report, have been increasing in many states over the years. These gaps include costs associated with maintenance and operation, and capital construction, as they would be needed depending on the number of children in a school district.
Nevada – To avoid the cost of building new schools, districts should consider 12-month school years or double sessions, an efficiency study proposes…The commission recommends more authority and decision-making at the school level instead of the district central office. There should be a review at least every three years by districts to determine if programs are leading to increased student achievement, the commission said. And a fund should be established to help districts finance construction and maintenance of schools, the study recommended.
The proposed legislation would require districts across the state adhere to national best practices in authorizing charter schools, said Elizabeth Fiveash, assistant commissioner of policy and legislative affairs. The bill would also allow districts to require a fee from charters based on how many charter schools operate within a district. School boards can levy a 1-3 percent fee of the annual per student state and local allocations depending on how many schools are within the district.
District schools and charter schools are often at odds. When the two school types share a school building—arrangements known as “co-locations”—the tensions can boil over. But what happens when district and charter leaders approach co-location as a tool to promote school improvement, rather than simply a real estate deal?
Since Los Angeles real estate is expensive, finding suitable space to lease is difficult, city permitting can be a hassle and charters’ access to bond money to build their own buildings limited, co-location is often an “expedient” option for many new charter schools. But discord from troubled co-location sites can drown out the harmony.
The deal sheds light on a growing niche in real estate that aims to help charter operators secure space they would struggle to acquire on their own by appealing to investors, rather than a more traditional roster of philanthropists and foundations.