BCC Supports Educational Excellence in Memphis

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Thanks to $3 million in financing from Boston Community Capital (BCC) and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a charter school in Memphis is aiming to expand by adding 640 students in grades 9-12 by 2021. Bluff City High School, part of the Green Dot Public Schools national network, opened last fall with 154 ninth-grade students and plans to add a grade each year.

In modular buildings on the site of a former church, the Bluff City students will attend classes designed to help close achievement gaps in Tennessee, particularly for students of color, from low-income communities, and/or with special needs.

In Memphis, many charter schools are start-ups with limited assets. They are public schools, but don’t get public funding for facilities or access to free facilities, so many must compete in the private real-estate market. CDFIs, such as BCC and NFF, can provide the kind of financing not typically available from conventional banking institutions.

 “We are proud to partner with BCC and with Green Dot, and to provide the flexible capital that nonprofits need to do their important work in underserved communities,” said Norah McVeigh, NFF’s Managing Director, Financing.

“BCC continues to expand its efforts to bring educational excellence to underserved communities across the nation by collaborating with public, private, and nonprofit organizations such as NFF and Green Dot,” said Elyse Cherry, CEO of BCC. “Through such partnerships, BCC has helped over 5,400 students in Tennessee get a high-quality education and provided more than 200 new school jobs, which contribute to the long-term economic viability of the community.”

BCC has supported a number of other Memphis projects in partnership with Hope Credit Union and Pinnacle Bank.