Launched in November 2022, TFF is ahead of schedule to its goal of providing $250 million in ultra-low-cost, short-term financing for public charter schools during critical growth years.
AUSTIN, Sept. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Texas Facilities Fund (TFF) has announced it has surpassed $100 million in low-cost investments in early-phase, growing and single-site public charter school operators that demonstrate tremendous potential.
The announcement came as the state’s public charter school community convened at the Texas Public Charter Schools Conference in Austin, TX, September 25-27.
A first-of-its-kind, state-based offering, TFF was designed to support the launch of high-quality public schools for under-resourced communities. Financing is made available to schools before they reach the enrollment and revenue thresholds required by the Texas Permanent Schools Fund, a state-administered lending program.
TFF is operated by the Equitable Facilities Fund (EFF), a national, philanthropy-backed impact fund that has made over $1 billion in loans to 156 public school campuses across 19 states. EFF loans have so far directed $250 million in savings back into classrooms. The fund’s strategy is centered on a core belief that low-income students of color deserve equitable access to the school facilities, resources and support they need to grow and thrive.
“Texas doesn’t do anything small, and the philanthropic community across Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Fort Worth has gone big in this effort to deliver educational equity for students,” said Anand Kesavan, CEO of EFF. “Pair their generosity with EFF’s national investor base and a strong community of schools, and you’ve got the perfect equation for what we’ve accomplished over the past year: $100M deployed to scale excellent public school options that Texas communities deserve.”
Over the course of the fund, the Equitable Facilities Fund anticipates that $250 million in TFF loans will catalyze the growth of 20 high-quality Texas schools, helping 10,000 Texas students access a high-quality education in world-class facilities.
So far, TFF portfolio schools include Compass Rose Public Schools, Beatrice Mayes Institute, Amigos Por Vida – Friends for Life, Houston Classical Charter School, Etoile Academy Charter School and Valor Public Schools.
Collectively, these schools enroll 5,800 students across Texas and will benefit from over $11 million in savings generated by the loans from TFF. Seven regional foundations seeded the fund with a total of $25 million in donations that will be leveraged 10 times with philanthropy committed by EFF’s national supporters as well as low-cost municipal bond proceeds. Texas-based supporters include Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, the Ewing Halsell Foundation, and the Kleinheinz Family Foundation.
Through a $4.6 million loan from TFF, Houston Classical Charter School was able to purchase and renovate its existing facilities, expanding available seats from 150 to 400 in the 2023-2024 school year. The school, whose population is nearly 100% Black and Hispanic, offers its community in Southwest Houston a classical model of education for PK-4th grade focused on academic rigor and character development in a structured environment.
“Our school has pretty quickly become a beacon in the community where parents know their kids are safe, challenged and being pushed to their max potential,” says Founding Principal Deyvis Salazar. “We’ve only been open since 2020, and our parents are already asking for a high school. As we continue to expand, TFF has helped us think through the tough decisions. And unlike a bank, they are on your team, 100% mission-aligned with our goal of responsibly serving as many students as we can.”
In addition to the Texas fund, EFF plans to launch several state-based, low-cost revolving loan funds in the coming years.
About Equitable Facilities Fund
Equitable Facilities Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social impact fund created to provide low-cost facility loans that allow high-performing public charter schools to maximize the resources they dedicate to students. High-quality public charter schools promote bright futures for children across America, and EFF believes these schools should borrow under terms comparable to traditional public-school districts. EFF administers an ‘A’ rated revolving loan fund, which recapitalizes using funds from Equitable School Revolving Fund’s bond issuances, to offer high-credit, long-term, scalable bond investment opportunities. To learn more, visit www.eqfund.org or email [email protected].
SOURCE Equitable Facilities Fund