Facilities Financing: Monetizing Education's Untapped Resource

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The enormous costs and burdens of outmoded facilities arrangements represent an immense opportunity for the nation's school systems. In this paper, the author explores the causes of the nation's $300 billion funding shortfall in K-12 facilities and offers concrete recommendations to address this troubling trend. The author posits that public-private partnerships are a promising avenue for tapping the resources needed to address capital needs, but that current financial conditions in K-12 scare off potential investors. By overhauling facilities financing and exploring innovative approaches, policymakers can create the space for private investors to support school facilities. Helping schools better meet their facilities needs, the author argues, entails: (1) Holding educators and schools accountable for academic and financial performance; (2) Loosening regulations that limit the reach of charter schools and other nontraditional programs; and (3) Creating more opportunities for schools to take advantage of nontraditional financing options. Enacting such measures, the author asserts, will allow for a more stable and investor-friendly system for financing facilities. [Author's abstract]
Kothari, Himanshu
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