The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency received a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help charter schools obtain facilities under a credit enhancement program.
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, has received $15 million through three grant rounds of this program, it said in Monday's announcement. It will help charter schools by issuing guarantees on a portion of a loan or bond made to a school to improve its facility.
With its own resources, these grants, and private sources to provide loan guarantees for Massachusetts charter schools, MassDevelopment has a fund of more than $21 million for this guarantee program.
"MassDevelopment's charter school facilities loan guarantee program has significantly leveraged private investment into public school facilities, providing a crucial service to charter schools seeking long-term sustainability for their educational programs," said Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.
The credit enhancement program awards grants based on a competitive preference priority that rewards applicants for targeting funds to areas with the greatest need for public school choice.
MassDevelopment has used its guarantee program to invest in Massachusetts schools such as Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in East Harwich, Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, and Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis.
Two weeks ago the agency won an award for excellence from the Council of Development Finance Agencies, a national association.
Last week, MassDevelopment said it issued a $40 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Xaverian Brothers High School, a Westwood, Mass., all-boys college-preparatory school for grades 7 through 12.
Xaverian will use bond proceeds to build and renovate athletic facilities, an academic wing and other capital projects. Boston Private Bank & Trust Co. purchased the bond.
MassDevelopment began in 1998 when the state legislature merged the Massachusetts Government Land Bank with the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency.