CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $125 MILLION TO SUPPORT NEW JERSEY CHARTER SCHOOLS

Qualified School Construction Bonds Provide Low-Cost Borrowing to Build and Upgrade Schools

TRENTON, N.J. (March 5, 2013)
– To continue New Jersey’s record of excellence in education and ensure that every child has access to a quality education, the Christie Administration announced the availability of $125 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) to support the construction, expansion or enhancement of charter schools in the state.

The State Treasurer authorized the allocation to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), which will work jointly with the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) to administer the funds.  QSCBs may be issued to finance the construction, rehabilitation or repair of school facilities or for the acquisition of land where a school will be built. Investors who purchase QSCBs receive federal income tax credits at prescribed tax credit rates in lieu of interest.  These tax credit rates essentially allow a school to borrow without incurring interest costs. 

“Governor Christie has made expanding and providing effective educational choices for students and their families a top priority,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown. “This low-cost borrowing will help charter schools create facilities and classrooms of the 21st century, offering our students the opportunity to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

The New Jersey Charter School Association, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently published a report that showed the majority of charter schools in the state are located in outdated facilities. Further, most don't have athletic fields or specialized instructional spaces, such as science labs or music rooms. 

Requests for funding through the $125 million allocation will be reviewed on a per project basis, with a maximum allocation of $40 million per project.  Applicants must be in good standing with the New Jersey DOE. To be eligible, the project financing must be ready to close no later than December 31, 2013 and the project must commence construction no later than 90 days after closing of the project financing. Applicants must also have site plan approval from the municipality, or evidence of commencement of the site plan approval process, in which the project resides.

The full Notice of Availability of Qualified School Construction Bond Allocation for Charter School Projects in New Jersey can be accessed via http://www.njeda.com/web/pdf/QSCB_2013.pdf.

For more information on the eligibility requirements for QSCBs, please consult bond counsel to the EDA.  A list of eligible bond counsel firms is listed on the EDA's website at www.njeda.com/web/pdf/Bc2002-2004list.pdf.

All responses must be accompanied by the required information and received no later than April 3, 2013 to:

Lori Matheus, Managing Director
New Jersey Economic Development Authority
PO Box 990
36 West State Street
Trenton NJ 08625
lmatheus@njeda.com

 All questions may be directed to Margie Piliere at mpiliere@njeda.com.

The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action.  Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of three interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center and the EDA.

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