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About CSDC

The Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). CSDC provides a critical service for new and expanding charter schools which, unlike traditional schools, have neither a ready source of capital for facilities, nor the taxing or bonding authority to address capital funding requirements. Because public charter schools' per-pupil funding is often inequitable compared to that of traditional public schools (about 75-80% on average when compared to traditional schools nationwide), virtually all charter schools must use operational funding - money which otherwise would go towards educational purposes and classroom teaching and learning - to cover capital budget shortfalls. CSDC helps charter schools with the twin challenge of finding and financing facilities and closing the funding gap so that they can keep their focus on their educational mission and student achievement gains.

CSDC is focused exclusively on the facility and financing needs of charter school organizations, helping charter school entrepreneurs and leaders finance, build and expand their school facilities with the goal of ultimately improving student achievement by increasing school choice within the American public education system.

CSDC specializes in working with newly formed and early stage charter schools in their first few years of operation, with a priority of schools in low-income communities and/or communities with a significant number of underperforming district schools. CSDC is focused on helping to "stand up" and stabilize those schools so that they become independently creditworthy, without the need for CSDC's further assistance, by virtue of their successful operating history and demonstrated ability to meet their enrollment goals and produce good academic and financial results.

Over its decade-plus history, CSDC has provided or procured roughly $680 million in capital financing and facilities for 235 charter schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. It has steadily expanded its program offerings and financial services as the charter school movement has grown from a single school in Minnesota 20 years ago to over 2.3 million students attending 6,000 charter schools in 43 states and the District of Columbia today, with 600,000 families on charter school waiting lists nationwide.


  • CSDC, through its Building Block Fund, has provided over $48 million in credit enhancement for 104 charter school organizations in 24 states and the District of Columbia serving over 33,500 students (50% low income), leveraging $425 million in private capital financing and lease commitments for 3.7 million square feet of safe, modern and affordable educational facilities. CSDC's credit enhancements take the form of partial, limited guarantees or additional collateral for charter school facility lease and loan payment obligations.
  • CSDC has developed over 1.2 million square feet of educational facilities for 29 charter school organizations on 24 campuses serving over 8,300 students (60% low income) through its nonprofit real estate development services (Turnkey Development Program), whereby CSDC acquires, develops and builds-to-suit properties for lease with option-to-purchase to its client-tenant schools, and Fee Developer Program. CSDC has developed over $150 million in real estate projects, several of which have been sold to the charter school optionees under this "lease-to-own" program.
  • CSDC has originated $9.5 million in facilities and working capital loans through its direct lending programs. CSDC's lending initiatives have leveraged $30 million in debt financing and lease commitments to 12 charter school organizations.
  • Charter FS, LLC, a subsidiary and the financial advisory arm of CSDC, has advised and assisted 122 charter schools in procuring $214 million in working capital loans and long-term financing for facilities and capital improvements via the bond market.
  • Another CSDC subsidiary, CSDC New Markets Fund, LLC, received $40 million in New Markets Tax Credits and fully sourced (suballocated) those federal income tax credits for a like-amount of equity and debt capital used to finance permanent facilities for five charter schools in four states and D.C.

CSDC's business model has expanded in direct response to the growth of the charter school movement and its emerging financial sector. CSDC has a long record of success in facilitating the flow of capital to low-income and early stage schools and continues to advance the understanding of charter school financing within the private sector and encourage private lenders and investors to enter the charter school market.

Charter Schools are Reforming K-12 Education
CSDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and Community Development Financial Institution
Copyright 2011