Reinvestment Fund closed on its second charter school financing funded through the Chase New Markets Tax Credit Charter School Fund in 2011. The loan provided financing for the Pan American Academy Charter School (PAACS). With this financing, PAACS moved from an older, substandard facility into a newly constructed education and training center that can accommodate 717 students in grades K-8, the school’s maximum charter enrollment.
PAACS provides one of the few dual-language education options for Philadelphia’s growing Latino population. PAACS opened its doors in September 2008 and has successfully made Adequate Yearly Progress in both of the last two years. The school was founded by Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a nationally-recognized, nonprofit organization that has been providing social, economic, education and health services to the Latino community in Philadelphia for over 30 years. Through its partnership with Congreso, PAACS focuses on the whole youth. The school is not only dedicated to enriching students’ lives academically and culturally, but also to ensuring students can connect to services offering new opportunities. Congreso is a guarantor of the NMTC financing and will also lease office space in the new education and training center when it is completed.
Known as the Trujillo Center, the education and training facility also houses Harcum College at Congreso during the evening hours. Harcum College at Congreso is an associate’s degree program that is operated as a partnership between Congreso, Harcum College, and the Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement and Development, Inc. The program currently serves 96 students with two employees, but expected to grow to 300 students and 10 employees at full capacity in the new facility.