Mass Development Bond Helps Lynn’s KIPP Academy Public Charter School Build Addition

February 10, 2017
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MassDevelopment has issued a $5.7 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School. The school is using bond proceeds to build, furnish, and equip an approximately 12,000-square-foot addition to its campus, which will accommodate 600 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. KIPP is also using proceeds to renovate portions of its existing 68,000-square-foot school building; to construct and equip basketball courts, parking facilities, and a new playground; and to make other miscellaneous improvements. Citizens Bank purchased the bond.

MassDevelopment provided the school with a $26 million financing package in 2011, including a tax-exempt bond and a New Market Tax Credits allocation, to build its existing building.

“Education is one of Massachusetts’ most vital resources, and MassDevelopment is proud to help broaden the Commonwealth’s educational offerings with low-cost financing, especially in our Gateway Cities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to continue our support of KIPP Academy as it strengthens its opportunities for Lynn students with new academic and recreational facilities.”

KIPP Massachusetts, formed by KIPP Academy Lynn Public Charter School and KIPP Academy Boston Public Charter School, provides educationally underserved students with academic, intellectual, and character skills to maximize their potential in college and beyond. KIPP Massachusetts began enrolling students in 2004. In Lynn, KIPP serves kindergarten through twelfth grade, and in Boston, kindergarten through eighth grade. Across both districts, KIPP Massachusetts serves more than 1,700 students. The school’s mission is to educate students and families in Lynn and Boston’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, wherever the achievement gap persists, serving student demographics that mirror those of neighborhood schools in terms of race, socioeconomic status, English language ability and special education needs.

“Our kids and families have earned this beautiful new building, and we are excited the larger addition will allow us to accommodate our younger students to this High Rock Lynn campus,” said Caleb Dolan, executive director of KIPPMA. “This expansion is the most recent step in a journey that began when founder Josh Zoia opened KIPP Academy Lynn Middle School in 2004. The project reflects our core beliefs, expressed in our school motto—to work hard and be nice—because it required unwavering belief, hard work, and a team effort by all.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.

  • jshore

    Nothing to be proud of here. All that “tax-exempt” money is taken out of the tax pool we all pay for our municipal services, which pay for our public schools, and puts it into the “foundations” of charter segregation academies like KIPP.MA that don’t service ALL children. Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voted NO to lifting the charter school cap. They want their tax dollars going to our public schools that educate ALL children.

    There is something wrong with Mass Development giving the KIPPMA $5.7 million dollars and something wrong with Citizens Bank purchasing that tax-exempt bond! Don’t be hoodwinked!

  • KR

    KIPP Academy Lynn provides a tuition-free, high quality public education for all children in educationally underserved communities who deserve great schools. KIPP would be able to offer this education to more children if the cap had been lifted. Student enrollment at KIPP is purely decided by blind lottery and the schools serve as many ELL and SPED students as other schools in the communities where they are located. KIPP’s mission is to provide a rigorous education for all students and to prepare them for success in college and beyond. KIPPMA had a waiting list of over 1,000 students who wanted to attend KIPP last year. They believe in the values that all parents should be allowed to choose which school is best for their child to attend. The minimal private funding support that the KIPP foundation raises is separate from the public funding KIPP receives. KIPP also welcomes all families, regardless of whether or not they attend KIPP, to participate in free family and community learning programs offered in the evenings at their schools. Some of these programs include ESOL, financial literacy, civic engagement and citizenship.

  • jshore

    KR,
    First, the term “public charter school” was coined by Kellyanne Conway to reframe the way we think about charter schools. Charter schools are not public schools. The are privately run, taxpayer funded, schools that are not accountable to the communities that pay for them. This business that charters take money from the public schools is NOT misleading, it’s very real.

    While Lynn begs and borrows to try to get 2 new middle schools built with a public vote on March 14th, KIPP charter walks off with a $5.7 million dollar package from Mass Development! For those new to the conversation, Mass Development the sole source of tax-exempt funding for all nonprofit educational, health and cultural organizations in the state. Prior to KIPPs latest $5.7 million dollar package, Mass Development provided a $26 million New Market Tax Credit financing package to the KIPP Charter School Foundation. The financing includes $17.5 million in tax-exempt bonds issued on the organization’s behalf. The Kipp Foundation used the proceeds to purchase a six-acre site in Lynn and built a 68,000-square-foot middle and high school building. Taking that land out of the tax base, which finances Lynn Public Schools along with Chapter 70, in the City of Lynn.

    Lynn already has plenty of “choice” for families. The privately run, taxpayer funded, KIPP Charter School has 1,037 students which takes $13,712,251. in Chapter 70 money out of the Lynn Public schools. This figure doesn’t include the state and federal entitlement funds that the Lynn Public Schools, who serve the neediest children, will lose. It doesn’t include the property taxes lost to the City of Lynn for the KIPP six-acre site.

    The KIPP’s CMO (Charter Management Organization) receives 16% off the top as a “management fee.” This is in addition to the state and federal CSP (Charter School Program) “bonus” grants received by KIPP. As part of the federal and state non-tuition and entitlement funds, the State also provides $893. per student for facilities every year.

    The KIPP Charter School building is owned by the KIPP Foundation and the school pays RENT to the KIPP Foundation out of the students tuition, which pays off the loan. The KIPP Foundation also leases furniture and equipment to the school, curriculum, and other various sundry items, which also makes them money. At the end of the loan all that property, furniture and equipment will belong to the KIPP Foundation, not the taxpayers who paid for it!

    With the overcrowding anticipated on the elementary and middle schools level, Lynn should be building 2 new middle schools and even an elementary school, instead of being forced by the state to farm out students to a privately run, taxpayer funded, charter school that the taxpayers of Lynn have no say about! All those New Market Tax Credits could be spent in Lynn on housing, day-care centers, community and business development, jobs that raise people out of poverty. That land, taken out of Lynn’s tax base, was diverted to “charter investors” who will not only avoid taxes, but collect a 39% return of investment! Almost double after only 7 years! When that loan is paid off with taxpayer money, the KIPP Foundation will own that building and its 6 acres of land, and not the City of Lynn!

    Knowing what we do now about charter schools, you have to ask yourself why one parent’s “choice” should be allowed to negatively effect the majority of children in Lynn. When even 1 child leaves for a charter school those children remaining in the traditional public school lose. Our wise Lynn voters overwhelmingly voted to keep the charter school cap! We want our tax dollars to go towards supporting our public schools that educate ALL children!

    Don’t Be Hoodwinked!

    http://www.alternet.org/education/who-profiting-charters-big-bucks-behind-charter-school-secrecy-financial-scandal-and

    https://jonathanturley.org/2013/03/16/charter-schools-and-the-profit-motive/

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