Lombardo approves $100 million for charter schools

Then Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion...
Then Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo answers a question while taking part in a panel discussion during a Republican Governors Association conference, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)
Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 10:16 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has approved a $100 million revolving loan fund that will expand access to charter schools in underserved communities.

“As the largest charter school investment in state history, this investment will dramatically increase school choice opportunities in Nevada, especially in underserved communities,” said Governor Joe Lombardo. “Coupled with our unprecedented investment into the state’s K-12 system, these funds represent our unwavering commitment to providing an education that meets the unique needs of students across the state.”

“Over the last two years, we have worked to build the State Infrastructure Bank as a tool that will move our State forward, while attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in capital from outside of the State of Nevada,” said Treasurer Zach Conine. “Because of these efforts, we can now expand access to high quality K-12 education to kids in underserved communities for decades to come.”

The fund will leverage $15 million from the State Infrastructure Bank with $85 million in outside funding to create a $100 million fund for charter school operators. They will use the funds to expand their existing facilities and build new schools in the state.

An additional 7,500 charter school seats are expected to be created thanks to this fund. The Governor’s Office says around 70% of students attending schools supported by this fund will be non-white. 70% of those will also qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

Charter school operators will be able to apply to the fund for financing to expand current facilities, construct new buildings, or refinance existing facilities. The fund will provide interest rates at the lowest possible level, which the Governor’s Office expects will create $20 million in savings to schools.

The funds are expected to create 948 jobs in the first five years, and loans to charter school operators are expected to be available through at least 2042.