"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goldman Sees Gold

From Marketwatch:
PRESS RELEASE
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:28 a.m. EST
LISC, Goldman Sachs Partner on Charter School Financing Facility

NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. today announced the formation of a $25 million charter school facility that will finance the development of approximately 16 charter schools over the next two years.

The Goldman Sachs Charter School Loan Facility will be capitalized by Goldman Sachs and credit-enhanced by funds awarded by the US Department of Education to LISC, which will also manage the facility and its lending program. LISC currently supports 130 charter schools nationwide. This facility will be focused on the greater New York City and New Jersey areas. In total, the fund is expected to leverage approximately $100 million in additional capital to support high-quality charter school facilities.

"Providing financing for charter school facilities that benefit low- and moderate-income families is a critical component of the firm's commitment to comprehensive community development," said Alicia Glen, Managing Director and Head of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs. "To date, the Urban Investment Group has committed approximately $150 million for charter school facilities in New York and New Jersey, and we are thrilled to partner with LISC, who has been a leader in charter school finance."

Since 1997, LISC has provided $127 million in charter school financing through direct loans, credit enhancement and New Markets Tax Credit investment authority. Supporting quality local schools is part of LISC's Building Sustainable Communities initiative, a comprehensive strategy to help transform distressed neighborhoods into good places to live, work, do business and raise families.

"Access to a quality education is fundamental to families and is at the core of healthy communities," noted Michael Rubinger, LISC President and CEO. "By funding this facility, Goldman Sachs ensures that thousands of low-income children will have access to innovative local schools that also help revitalize blighted neighborhoods."

"Securing and operating quality facilities are among the greatest challenges for charter schools," noted Reena Bhatia, Director with LISC's Educational Facilities Financing Center. "There are 1.5 million children educated through charter schools and 400,000 additional kids on waiting lists. There is tremendous need, especially in low-income communities.

"In the current economic environment, meeting that need is more difficult than ever," she continued. "Despite the fact that charter schools are a high-performing line of community development lending, private financing is severely constrained. That's why this Goldman Sachs facility is so critical. It offers children without a decent school option the chance at the educational opportunities they deserve."
Shades of a Juan Gonzalez article from earlier this year.

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