In 2018, a consortium of partners came together around Idaho’s Communities of Excellence federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant to lead and accelerate the expansion of high-quality charter schools across the state. Bluum serves as project lead for the consortium and is joined in this work by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, the Idaho State Board of Education, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation and Building Hope.
As part of our shared commitment under the Communities of Excellence grant to provide “high quality technical assistance” and “share best practices” to CSP subgrantee schools, Bluum issued an RFP for a “first-class charter schools facilities refinancing guide.” Our RFP sought a partner that could deliver on three primary items:
1. Develop a facilities loan refinancing guide for charter school operators
2. Provide personalized technical assistance (TA) to Idaho charter schools that will
be refinancing their facilities
3. Disseminate lessons learned in the field
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) Charter School Facility Center was awarded the competitive contract for the refinancing guide.
The Charter School Facility Center team, led by veteran charter school finance expert Mark Medema, delivered in full. We are thankful for the good work they did in crafting this peer-reviewed guide and toolkit authored by Elise Balboni. Further, we are deeply appreciative of Jim Ford, who worked closely with a number of Idaho public charter schools to draft and provide personalized technical assistance for both their facility financing and refinancing efforts.
This guide will be a valuable asset for not only charter schools in Idaho, but other schools across the country that are in the process of financing or refinancing their charter school facilities. It is our sincere hope this guide will help schools maximize every dollar spent on facilities so they can spend more in the classroom with their students.