Equitable Facilities Fund Surpasses $1B in Loans to High-Impact Public Charter Schools
NEW YORK, NY, June 15, 2023 — Equitable Facilities Fund (EFF), a nonprofit social impact fund, today announced it crossed the billion-dollar threshold in low-cost loans to high-performing public charter schools. Since its launch in 2017, EFF has successfully closed four bond issuances totaling over $800 million in proceeds backed by the fund’s ‘A’ credit rating from S&P Global Ratings.
EFF’s philanthropy-backed investment model provides the most affordable financing option, regardless of market conditions, for public charter schools, which receive significantly less funding than traditional school districts. The model has also generated $250 million in savings that are invested back into schools. Within EFF portfolio schools, 90% of students outperform their district peers, 80% identify as people of color and 70% qualify as economically disadvantaged.
The financing model has helped 156 public school campuses in 19 states access affordable facilities that have been used to purchase previously leased facilities, refinance existing debt, construct new buildings and undertake improvements at existing facilities.
“Reaching this milestone demonstrates the unprecedented scale and measurable success of the sustainable model we built to help our nation's highest-performing public charter schools access equitable funding,” said Anand Kesavan, founder and chief executive officer of the Equitable Facilities Fund. “In just six years, the fund has supported more than 150 school campuses serving 75,000 students and forecasts rapid growth to meet the community need in the coming years as it seeks to achieve equity self-sustainability.”
To date, EFF has raised over $350 million in grants from 17 funders. Contributions are leveraged with low-cost debt issued to more than 70 municipal bond investors, including JPMorgan, Goldman, UBS, Vanguard, Wilmington Trust, and Alliance Bernstein, among others. For every dollar donated, EFF makes at least $6 of affordable loans to schools. Over time, loan proceeds are repaid and then loaned out again to new school borrowers, allowing the impact of a one-time gift to last in perpetuity.
EFF is supported by the Walton Family Foundation’s Building Equity Initiative (BEI), an unprecedented effort to make it easier and more affordable for public charter schools to access equitable, affordable facilities funding.
“I'm proud of EFF's work to change charter school financing,” said Jim Walton, Walton Family Foundation trustee. “As this work continues to grow, I'm excited to see more schools and communities benefit from this fund.”
“The Equitable Facilities Fund allows charter schools to put more resources where they belong: in the classroom with students,” said Alice Walton.
“With EFF, it feels like you are working with an advocate who understands the impact of your schools and believes in your mission,” says Farnaz Golshani-Flechner, superintendent of Environmental Charter Schools in Los Angeles. ECS was supported by a $30 million EFF loan to acquire, renovate and refinance existing facilities. “The lower cost financing has allowed us to continue our model of education in a meaningful way.”
EFF plans to harness the strength of this national investment platform to launch several state-based funds. This includes the Texas Facilities Fund (TFF), a $250-million initiative seeded with philanthropy from regional foundations and launched in November of 2022. TFF offers low-cost facility financing to early-phase public charter school operators that demonstrate tremendous potential. The EFF team intends to establish localized funds in at least four other states over the next three to four years.
In 2021 and 2022, EFF was named Environmental Finance's Impact Project/Investment of the Year - Education.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.