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Idaho's Communities of Excellence

Charter School Facility Refinancing Guide & Toolkit


In 2018, a consortium of partners came together around Idaho’s Communities of Excellence federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant to lead and accelerate the expansion of high-quality charter schools across the state. As part of their shared commitment under the Communities of Excellence grant to provide “high quality technical assistance” and “share best practices” to CSP sub-grantee schools, they sought to create a charter schools facilities refinancing guide. The intention driving this process was three-fold:

  1. To develop a facilities loan refinancing guide for charter school operators

  2. Provide personalized technical assistance (TA) to Idaho charter schools that will be refinancing their facilities

  3. Disseminate lessons learned in the field

The Charter School Facility Center team, led by veteran charter school finance expert Mark Medema, spearheaded the effort, in partnership with Elise Balboni and Jim Ford. 

Communities of Excellence and the Charter School Facility Center believe that this guide will be a valuable asset for not only charter schools in Idaho, but for schools across the country that are in the process of financing or refinancing their charter school facilities

Within the guide, USDA Community Facilities Programs are highlighted as a long-term refinancing option. Refinancing is an allowable use of CF financing as long as it represents less than half of the total USDA loan or guarantee. 

View the USDA Financing of Rural Charter Schools Report to learn more about

the USDA financing of rural charter schools.

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