Securing an appropriate and affordable facility is one of the biggest challenges a new charter school faces. Below please find a selection of information about charter school facilities support for Indiana charter school operators.
Revolving Facilities Loan Fund for Charter Schools
In May 2011, House Enrolled Act 1002 established the charter schools facilities assistance fund. The fund, which will operate as a revolving loan fund, was established to assist schools in constructing, purchasing, renovating, and maintaining charter school facilities. In May 2012, the IDOE awarded a contract to IFF, a nonprofit community development financial institution, to manage this facilities fund. For more information, please contact Tanya Vartivarian, Director of School Services for IFF, at email@example.com or 312-596-5121.
Unused District Facilities for Charter Schools
Pursuant to IC § 20-26-7-1, each school corporation's governing body must inform the IDOE whenever a school building that was previously used for classroom instruction is closed, unused, or unoccupied. The department will post this list on the IDOE website, updating it each year in August.
If a charter school wishes to use a school building included on the IDOE list, the charter school must send a letter of intent to the IDOE identifying one facility from the list. The IDOE will notify the school corporation of the charter school's intent, and the school corporation that owns the school building may either lease the school building to the charter school for one dollar ($1) per year, or sell the school building to the charter school for one dollar ($1). The charter school must begin using the building for classroom instruction not later than two years after acquiring the school building, or the building will be placed back on the IDOE's list.
During the term of a lease, the charter school is responsible for the direct expenses relating to the leased building, including utilities, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and remodeling. The school corporation is responsible for any debt associated with the building before the charter school either leased or purchased the building. For more information, please contact Jeff Barber, the IDOE Charter School Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-232-9143. To see the list, click here.
Potential Sources of Facilities Financing
New charter school operators are encouraged to begin their facilities financing due diligence by contacting IFF to learn about the revolving loan fund created by the Indiana legislature and managed under contract by IFF. Other potential facilities financing partners include:
Charter operators are welcome to pursue other sources of facilities financing identified by their board members or Education Service Provider (ESP), if applicable.