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Texas Credit Enhancement Program Application Now Available – Due January 5, 2017!

December 1, 2016

TCSA is pleased to announce that the 2016 application for the Texas Credit Enhancement Program (TCEP) is now available through the Texas Public Finance Authority Charter School Finance Corporation.

To learn more about how the TCEP grant may help your school achieve its facilities goals, please join us for a webinar on Monday, December 5th at 1 p.m. John Hernandez, the Deputy Director of the Texas Public Finance Authority (TPFA) and Robert Jocius, Senior Program Manager at TPFA will talk in depth about the TCEP program and answer questions about charter eligibility and the new 2016 application. I encourage you to join us or catch the webinar subsequently in the TCSA Learning Zone.

Background

The TCEP for Texas open-enrollment charter schools was created by the Legislature to provide a guarantee fund for issuing tax-exempt revenue bonds for Texas charter school facilities. Utilizing a $10 million federal enhancement grant and a $100,000 contribution from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), TCEP provides credit enhancement for municipal bonds that provide financing for the acquisition, construction, repair or renovation of Texas charter school facilities (including certain refinancing of facilities debt that meet federal guidelines), by funding a debt service reserve fund for such issuances. The reserve funds are used solely as security for repayment of debt.

The consortium of the Charter School Finance Corporation (CSFC), TEA, and TCSA (replacing the Resource Center for Charter Schools in 2009) were awarded the grant to create the guarantee fund. The CSFC is the entity responsible for awarding the TCEP grant funds.

TCEP Availability & Application Requirements

As of August 31, 2016, TCEP has $6,517,531 available grant funds to pledge. In order that the guarantee fund serves as many charter schools as possible, charters may not apply for a grant in excess of $1,000,000, or the total amount of funds available for award. The aggregate maximum grant award to any one charter holder is $3,000,000.

In order to be eligible for the TCEP grant, the charter school must be accredited, qualify as a “charter school” under the federal definition, and meet the following academic and financial accountability standards:

(1) “Met Standard” or “Met Alternative Standard” at the district and campus levels for 2015 and 2016;
(2) Charter FIRST Rating of “Meets Standard” for 2015-2016.

TCEP is a competitive grant application process. Awards are made by the CSFC Board of Directors based on a combination of elements, including the completed application, agency staff recommendations and other criteria decided upon by the CSFC Board of Directors. TCSA does not review submitted grant applications or play any role in determining the grant awardees.

TCEP applications are due to CSFC by Thursday, January 5, 2017. The CFSC Board of Directors will review the applications and will award the 2017 grants on or about February 24, 2017.

For guidance during the application process, feel free to contact me or Lee Deviney, TPFA’s Executive Director at lee.deviney@tpfa.texas.gov. For help gathering TEA-generated data for the application, contact Arnoldo Alaniz at TEA at Arnoldo.alaniz@tea.texas.gov.

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