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ERIC Number: ED523104
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug-8
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Facilities Financing: Monetizing Education's Untapped Resource. Working Paper 2011-04
Kothari, Himanshu
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Like most everyone, schools have been forced to tighten their belts to survive in today's economic downturn. School leaders have been cutting budgets for afterschool activities, classroom equipment, and staff, all in an era of increasing academic expectations. It is little surprise, then, that facilities issues have been relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. However, the enormous costs and burdens of outmoded facilities arrangements represent an immense opportunity for the nation's school systems. In this paper, the author explores the causes of the nation's $300 billion funding shortfall in K-12 facilities and offers concrete recommendations to address this troubling trend. The author posits that public-private partnerships are a promising avenue for tapping the resources needed to address capital needs, but that current financial conditions in K-12 scare off potential investors. By overhauling facilities financing and exploring innovative approaches, policymakers can create the space for private investors to support school facilities. Helping schools better meet their facilities needs, the author argues, entails: (1) Holding educators and schools accountable for academic "and" financial performance; (2) Loosening regulations that limit the reach of charter schools and other nontraditional programs; and (3) Creating more opportunities for schools to take advantage of nontraditional financing options. Enacting such measures, the author asserts, will allow for a more stable and investor-friendly system for financing facilities. He explains, "Once established, uniformity, liquidity, and stability can foster increased partnerships between public and private parties, bringing more resources into the sector and allowing educators more time to tend to their profession." (Contains 6 figures and 9 endnotes.)
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research