As a long-time lender to schools, Reinvestment Fund has delivered flexible financing that supports the real estate development needs of schools providing quality education outcomes. We have always gone beyond the financial story that audits and projections tell, seeking to conduct a multifaceted review of a school’s program. We observe classes in session and engage in discussion with school staff to assess the experience of the leadership team, student engagement and demand, and whether the program is outperforming its peers on traditional markers of success such as standardized assessments and graduation rates.
We are also a part of the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education (the Collaborative) that is focused on how to incorporate or operationalize racial equity into our lending to schools. Our focus on education is important because, in many ways, schools are often a microcosm of their communities. They manifest the challenges and strengths of their broader community. More than just institutions of education, schools play a part in the emotional and physical wellbeing of America’s future. Therefore, it is critical that we understand and nurture the policies and practices that foster equitable educational success.