Opportunity 180 and the Equitable Facilities Fund (EFF) have partnered with the Office of Governor Joe Lombardo, Treasurer Zach Conine and the State Infrastructure Bank to debut the Nevada Facilities Fund. The Nevada nonprofit and the philanthropy-backed impact fund have teamed up to create a first-of-its kind public-private partnership that provides a dedicated facility funding resource for public charter schools looking to open or expand in Nevada.
While charter schools receive public funding per student, they must spend a significant amount of those limited per-pupil dollars on their facilities and thus face a major barrier to opening and operating high-quality schools. The Nevada Facilities Fund (NVFF) will offer high-impact and high-potential public charter schools an affordable, low-interest financing for purchasing, building or refinancing facilities, allowing more money to be spent in the classroom, not on the classroom.
The Fund infuses $100 million of new investment in the Silver State, including $80 million from the Equitable Facilities Fund’s national funders and investors, $15 million from the State Infrastructure Bank, and $5 million in privately raised philanthropy. The Fund also benefits from a $12 million Credit Enhancement Grant awarded to Opportunity 180 from the U.S. Department of Education, which will support much-needed capital access for earlier-stage school operators.
These combined investments create a revolving loan fund that will recycle loan repayments to support Nevada classrooms in perpetuity. The model builds on EFF’s national loan fund, which has deployed over $1 billion in low-cost capital to high-quality public charter schools since 2018. Typical school borrowers will save an average of over $150,000 annually. In aggregate, the fund will support $25 million in savings and additional flexibility within school budgets that will flow directly to students and classrooms.
“The Nevada Facilities Fund will level the playing field by using an innovative, proven model to provide low-cost facility loans for schools,” said Jana Wilcox Lavin, CEO of Opportunity 180. “This revolving loan fund aims to support 7,500 high-quality public charter school seats for kids statewide who have historically been the furthest from educational opportunity. We look forward to seeing its impact on students, families, and communities.”
To participate in the Fund, charter school operators will undergo a formal application process. Opportunity 180 and EFF will vet the applicants and lend to charter schools that meet a specific set of criteria. This includes serving historically underrepresented populations and expanding access to a high-quality education that prepares students for college and career success.
“EFF is proud to partner with O180 and the State Infrastructure Bank to deliver a public school facilities solution that Nevada families deserve. Together, we’re combining local expertise, a proven national model, and state, federal and philanthropic funding to catalyze something that will make a difference for children for years to come,” said Michael McGregor, chief operating officer of the Equitable Facilities Fund.