MACo Opposes Charter School Revolving Loan Fund

MACo Associate Director Les Knapp testified in opposition to HB 231 before the House Appropriations Committee on February 8.  The bill would create a Public Charter School Facility Revolving Loan Fund to lend money to public charter schools for facility construction or maintenance.  The State Board of Education would evaluate requests for loans and determine repayment arrangements.

Mr. Knapp objected to the bill for two reasons:  (1) the bill requires the Governor to provide the fund with $400,000 from public school construction funds (an assumed annual appropriation); and (2) if a public charter school is unable to repay its loan,  the county or county board of education may be required to pay the remaining balance and interest.  He expressed concern about the taking of public school construction funds to establish the loan and the imposition of an additional and unnecessary fiscal mandate on the counties and local school boards.

A similar version of the bill was introduced in 2010, HB 610/SB 366, but did not contain the two provisions that MACo objected to in the current bill.  MACo did not take a position on the 2010 bills.

HB 231 testimony.

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