This report determines the degree to which charter schools have access to traditional public school facility financing, and whether alternative sources of facility financing are available to charter schools. Further discussed are potential options generally available to the federal government if it were to assume a larger role in charter school facility financing. It reports that charter schools generally do not have access to municipal bonds, the most common source of facility financing, and that charter schools that are part of local school districts might not share in local or state school construction funds. State charter school laws vary, and few of them address facility financing or provide funding for school construction or improvements, purchasing, or leasing buildings for use by charter schools. Sources of charter school financing include allocation of education funds from state, loans, and private donations; however, such funding may not adequately cover costs or are not widely available to charter schools. The federal government can broaden its role in financing charter school facilities through grants, direct loans, loan guarantees, loan pools, tax-exempt bonds, and tax credits. Appendices provide a comparison of state legislation on charter school independence, a summary of state legislation on how charter schools obtain facilities, and comments from the Department of Education.
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