Bill Description: House Bill 545 creates a revolving loan fund to help new public charter schools obtain loans for facility construction and improvements at lower interest rates.
Does the bill expand the existing government monopoly on education and shrink family and student choice or agency? (-) Conversely, does the bill expand the ability for families and students to choose the educational options that best meet their needs free of government intervention or coercion? (+)
House Bill 545 establishes a public charter school revolving loan fund, which allows public charter schools to apply for loans at lower interest rates. By doing so, the bill extends to charter schools the opportunities that district schools already have for starting new schools.
By making it easier for charter schools to secure loans, House Bill 545 creates more competition in the education marketplace. Charter schools are schools of choice. Encouraging their growth through this fund will give families more educational options to choose from.
Does the bill decrease barriers to entry for teachers and other education professionals or services, thus incentivizing entrepreneurship and increasing the supply of options for education services in the marketplace? (+) Conversely, does the bill create barriers to entry into the education marketplace? (-)
House Bill 545 removes barriers to entry by making it easier for new charter schools — those that are preparing to open or have been in operation for one to two years — to get loans they can use to construct new buildings or improve existing facilities. By enabling new charter schools to acquire loans at lower interest rates, House Bill 545 facilitates the growth of charter schools throughout the state, thus increasing the supply of options for education services in the marketplace.
Does the bill create more transparency or accountability in public education institutions? (+) Conversely, does the bill reduce transparency and accountability in such institutions? (-)
Under House Bill 545, a public charter school that seeks a loan from the revolving fund must obtain a letter of commitment from a financial institution, nonprofit corporation, qualified underwriter, or investment firm. The charter school must provide cash flow statements and annual budget documents. It must show that it has at least $1 million “in private or public grant support available for use supporting the school budget prior to loan issuance.”
House Bill 545 creates more accountability in public education institutions by requiring the schools that borrow from the fund to have sufficient assets to ensure they repay the loan.
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