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The poor academic performance of students in the United States has sparked debate over the quality of education in this country. Questions about the problems in public schools have been at the center of the argument. Proposals are being made for different education reforms in the face of decline in public school districts that are viewed as static by their local communities.

The public education system is obviously in a period of transition, and the public charter school project has taken hold as an American grass-roots movement for parents seeking non-traditional education providers. Traditional public schools might be feeling the strain of population growth so that charter school education is promoted in high-growth areas to meet the facilities demand. A charter school also can be successful in a slow or declining enrollment environment if public school education choices are substandard. The requirements of services in special education can be fully met by a charter school project. Different management, school reorganization and varied curriculum at public charter schools create healthy competition in public school administration. The success of charter schools is based on management that makes effective use of limited resources to set a higher standard of elementary and secondary education, and quality of education will be reflected in parent loyalty and student enrollment growth.

Private investment will finance the nationwide growth and expansion of independent public charter schools as operating history, management record and demand patterns develop in public charter schools, and as charter statutes in state education laws strengthen in detail of provision and length of term. It is in the interest of both public charter and public schools to use limited resources in the best way within the respective constraints of state and local laws and budgets to provide quality education to public school students. There are already many examples of cooperation between state government, local school board and independent charter school administration. Independent public charter schools share the tasks of ending overcrowding in schools and sustaining learning in every subject area across all grade levels. Credit profiles of these schools should reflect the revenue stream of per-pupil grants in state education funding and the record of academic success in school operations.

Financing of charter school projects will be supported in the future by collateralization of sponsored reserve funds and school facilities and land. Solid credit profiles at independent charter schools will be reinforced by credit enhancements created in statutes of the No Child Left Behind Act signed by President Bush in 2002. The Credit Enhancement Initiatives defined in sections of the Public Charter Schools part of the law will fund reserve accounts to guarantee, insure and reinsure financing for charter school facility acquisition, construction of new facilities and renovation of existing facilities. This is clearly an idea whose time has come; independent charter school projects always have made do with small school spaces in unusual locations to achieve impressive results with their young students. Major lenders now have every reason to finance mortgage loans for independent charter school buildings and athletic facilities for grades K-12.


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