LISC believes that all children deserve access to a successful public school in their community. But, historically, there has not been equitable access to high-quality public schools given the pervasive impact of racist policies and systemic racism on Black and Brown families and communities. Great K-12 public schools help students reach a level of educational attainment that provides economic opportunity and leads to success in the workforce. In 2003, LISC created a national program to finance charter school real estate development across the country. LISC Charter School Financing (CSF) funds school construction for high-quality public charter schools that predominately educate students from families with incomes below the national average and that educate Black, Latino/a/x, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Indigenous students and other students of color.

Building and renovating facilities remains a major hurdle for new and existing public charter schools looking to meet the demand for quality education within their communities. Quality charter school operators have remained committed to overcoming these facilities challenges in order to continue educating children. Through the CSF program, which is backed by U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program awards, LISC finances projects that build or modernize school facilities and invests in high-quality schools that occupy those spaces. Decades of research shows that conditions of school buildings affect student health and performance. By providing access to affordable capital for nonprofit public charter schools in historically under-resourced communities, we can help preserve precious public resources for use in the classroom, so that children and teachers can thrive.

Read the full article about investing in education by Anna Smukowski and Yvonne Nolan at LISC.