San Tan Learning Center began its third year partnering with Charter School Capital to manage the school’s incredible growth since the school was formed in 2006. In that time, the school has grown from 250 students housed in a single 20,000 square foot campus to more than 650 students on two campuses totaling more than 60,000 square feet. That type of “whirlwind growth,” as Dr. Kris Sippel, Principal of San Tan Learning Center, refers to it, means that the school has increased their need for ongoing access to growth capital for more desks, computers and space to house the students.
A few years ago, a lapse in funding by the State of Arizona combined with the school’s rapid growth meant the staff at San Tan Learning Center, based in Gilbert, Arizona, found themselves wondering where the money was going to come from to meet their changing needs. “I remember sitting in my office thinking ‘how am I going to get that $200,000 that I need’?” recalls Dr. Sippel.
“I was going through the mail and came across a postcard from Charter School Capital so I put in a call and a staff member called me back right away to talk about our needs. Their team got me comfortable with the process, pulled the documents together and presented to our Board of Directors.”
Dr. Sippel recognizes that at first, his board was hesitant. “They were worried about fees and paying back a loan with interest,” says Dr. Sippel. However, once the board understood that the funds provided by Charter School Capital were not a loan, the solution was embraced. “This doesn’t have all the rigmarole of a loan.” Dr. Sippel explains, “when I need funds, I get an email from Charter School Capital, process the paperwork, and provide the documents to get the funding – it’s so streamlined, it’s beautiful.”
Growth and success for San Tan Learning Center means that they are able to provide quality middle and K-6 education to local students in their community. Dr. Sippel knows that what the school has to offer is unique,“we are a very family-oriented community; it just feels different at San Tan.” And he recognizes that Charter School Capital offered the school an equally unique experience, “Charter School Capital has done such a good job making us feel a part of something –that’s rewarding. You don’t get that feeling at a bank –the relationship piece just isn’t there.”
Dr. Sippel concludes with some advice for other charter schools experiencing rapid growth and facing financial concerns, “Ask yourself, ‘who’s going to sign a bank’s personal guarantee?’ Because it is a big deal; at least it was for me.” But Charter School Capital changes all of that. When describing the process, Dr. Sippel refers to something he calls the “3 F’s”: “Finding. Funding. Fast. That’s what they did the first time and that’s what they continue to do.”“It is a big relief to know that, with Charter School Capital, our organization can stand alone.”
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Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!