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Nevada charter schools getting $15M for expanded access

Updated October 30, 2023 - 4:01 pm

The Nevada State Infrastructure Bank approved a $15 million loan Monday meant to expand access to charter schools in underserved communities.

The loan, which was requested by Opportunity 180 — a nonprofit that supports charter schools — will be used to form a fund for charter school operators to expand existing facilities and build new schools in the state.

“This is probably one of the most game changing projects that we’ve seen, at least in my time in state government, to promote K-12 educational opportunity for the kids who needed the most,” said Erik Jimenez, the chief policy deputy in the state treasurer’s office.

The Nevada Facilities Fund will be operated by Opportunity 180 and the Equitable Facilities Fund, a national nonprofit and social impact fund.

Charter school operators will be able to apply for financing through the fund, which is expected to create an additional 7,500 charter school seats in Nevada. The fund is aiming for 70 percent of the students attending schools supported by the fund to be people of color, and 70 percent to qualify for free and reduced cost lunch.

Opportunity 180 plans on leveraging the loan for an additional $85 million in private funding, and plans on repaying the bank’s loan with funds generated from payments from charter school operators who receive loans from the fund.

The move was applauded by Gov. Joe Lombardo.

“As the largest charter school investment in state history, this investment will dramatically increase school choice opportunities in Nevada, especially in underserved communities,” Lombardo said in a statement.

Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on X.

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