Uplift Education, North Texas’ largest public charter school network, has closed a $10 million loan agreement with Dallas-based NexBank to support school expansion in the Dallas area.
Uplift currently enrolls nearly 12,000 students in its 32 Dallas-Fort Worth schools. It will expand to more than 13,000 by 2016.
The draw-down loan will provide up to $4 million of working capital. Uplift has access to the balance for the acquisition of three properties in Oak Cliff, southeast Dallas, southwest Dallas, and for projects related to the construction of instructional-use facilities on those properties.
“With this loan, NexBank becomes an important partner in our effort to make a high quality college preparatory education available to more students in North Texas. They’ve stepped into the gap between our 2014 and 2015 bond issues and are helping us keep our growth on track as we pave the way for three more Uplift campuses,” Uplift CFO Bill Mays said.
“This loan helps support charter school development and sustainability in the Dallas area. We are pleased to support Uplift Education and their plans to improve the educational opportunities in our local communities and strengthen achievement for all students in the Dallas area,” said Grant Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of NexBank SSB.
Uplift CEO Yasmin Bhatia finds commercial funding options to be a necessary reality since state funds for facilities expansion are not made available through the Foundation Schools Program the way they are to traditional school districts.
“Current school funding models affect public charters differently than they do local ISDs. The districts have taxing authority and support from the state to cover new construction. Charter networks in Texas, though they are public, do not have the same options. We will continue to seek partnerships such as this one with NexBank to meet our funding needs. Right now, NexBank is the catalyst for the eventual construction of three new schools in North Texas,” Ms. Bhatia said.
Uplift Education closed on the Southwest Dallas property on Hampton Road this month and immediately started construction. The network plans to acquire the Oak Cliff and southeast Dallas properties in the next few months but will wait to begin construction until 2015.
About Uplift Education
Uplift Education is a is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating a network of 32 tuition-free, college preparatory, public charter schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving on 14 campuses. Uplift Education schools provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on college preparation – 100% of graduates are accepted to college. Uplift Education educates nearly 12,000 students, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Uplift schools are public schools — students are selected by a blind lottery with no information collected on their past academic performance. For more information, visit uplifteducation.org or facebook.com/uplifteducation.
About NexBank SSB
NexBank SSB is a leading regional bank with assets of $1.5 billion and a charter that dates to 1922. The bank provides commercial banking, mortgage banking, and institutional services to meet the needs of its clients, which include large corporations, real estate investors, middle-market companies, small businesses and banks as well as some of the largest institutional clients in the capital markets. NexBank SSB is part of NexBank Capital, Inc., a fully-integrated financial services organization that includes a commercial and investment bank. http://www.NexBank.com