BlueHub Receives $12 Million from US Dept. of Education for Public Charter School Facilities Projects
BlueHub builds on successful track record to offer lending to new and early-stage public charter schools
BlueHub Capital today announces its affiliate, BlueHub Loan Fund, a leading national nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI), has been awarded a $12 million Credit Enhancement Award from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to provide innovative loan products to public charter schools that serve students in districts where other public schools are under-performing and where students are disproportionately economically disadvantaged and students of color.
BlueHub Loan Fund is one of only four organizations to receive a 2021 Award. This is the second credit enhancement allocation BlueHub has received from ED. Altogether, BlueHub has received a total of $20 million of this specific funding to support charter school facilities. With a 2021 Award, BlueHub will focus on meeting the financing needs of start-up and early-stage public charter schools in markets where there is insufficient capital to meet demand.
BlueHub Loan Fund will provide predevelopment, acquisition, leasehold improvement and construction-to-permanent loans with terms and rates that could not be offered without this Award. While BlueHub will deploy the credit enhancement nationally, BlueHub will target public charter schools in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
“As demand increases for public charter schools, BlueHub will build on its successful track record and put this Credit Enhancement Award to work to expand access to excellent education to students in low-wealth communities,” said Elyse Cherry, CEO of BlueHub Capital.
“This grant will allow us to make loans that other lenders typically find too risky to support,” said Michelle Volpe, president of BlueHub Loan Fund. “We partner with public charter schools that nurture students’ academic achievement and social-emotional growth, support families, and we target low-wealth communities where families are demanding meaningful, positive alternatives to underperforming local schools. We look forward to expanding our lending into areas that need it most.”
For many public charter schools, there is no public source of funding for school facilities, and new and expanding schools often are unable to access conventional debt. The Credit Enhancement program helps charter schools address the cost of acquiring, constructing, and renovating facilities by enhancing the availability of loans and bond financing. ED awards credit enhancements to organizations that can increase the ability of charter schools to access private-sector and other non-federal capital in order to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost.
BlueHub Loan Fund’s impact measurement practice includes assessment protocols specific to public charter school lending. To evaluate whether a school effectively supports and serves all students, particularly students of color, BlueHub Loan Fund considers its teacher and student demographics, disaggregated test results, family and community engagement, curricula, policies, leadership and operations, and discipline practices. BlueHub also is a founding member of the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education.
About BlueHub Capital
BlueHub Capital is a national nonprofit community finance organization with a 35-year history of building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. Since 1985, BlueHub Capital has invested over $2.2 billion to support low-income communities, creating and preserving over 27,000 units of affordable housing, 27,000 jobs, healthcare services for more than 197,000 patients, education and daycare for more than 70,700 children, and prevented over 1,150 foreclosure-related evictions. To learn more about BlueHub Capital and the impact of its investments, visit bluehubcapital.org.