Our Charter School Finance Group strives to help our clients acquire, build and improve facilities to best serve their educational communities. As a national leader in securing facility financing for charter school organizations since 2000, we understand that no two charter schools are exactly alike, which is why we offer customized financing solutions that are tailored to the particular needs of our diverse charter clients. Whether charter organizations are focused on needs for a single campus, multiple schools or a multi-year growth plan, our dedicated team of bankers assist charter school borrowers across the country in raising capital for facilities through the issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds.

Areas of Expertise

We recognize that charter schools are part of the educational fabric of this country and, as such, we have a team of specialists and dedicated resources to serve charter organizations. Leveraging our strength as one of the strongest and most stable investment banks in the country, we have been a leading underwriter of charter school bonds for 20 years.

We specialize in the processing, structuring and issuance of tax-exempt and taxable bonds for charter facilities projects, including:

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    Facility and Land Acquisition

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    Refinancing of Prior Financing

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    New Facility Construction/Development

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    Equipment and Technology

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    Existing Facility Expansion and Improvement

Since 2000, RBC has financed over 200 charter school projects for more than 100 organizations and raised over $3 billion for the acquisition, construction, renovation, leasehold improvements and related costs of these projects.

Client Centered Financing Solutions

At RBC we understand from 20 years of experience serving charter schools that the charter movement has been driven by innovation and focused efforts to expand student options and improve educational outcomes. We work with charters with a wide variety of educational missions and, to be responsive to those unique organizational needs, we employ a variety of structuring and distribution techniques to provide tailored financing solutions for charter school clients.

We craft debt solutions to meet our clients’ programmatic and financial goals. This approach is reflected in the financing outcomes we secure for the clients that we serve.

Recent Transactions

Recent Transaction Tombstones

Our Team

National Coverage

John R. Snider

Managing Director & Sector Head

+1.602.381.5361

Mr. Snider joined RBCCM in 1989 and since that time has been involved with over $10 billion in municipal bond financings for a variety of cities, counties, special districts, charter schools, school districts, universities and state agencies. While Mr. Snider has a wide variety of experience, his primary area of expertise has been financing for K-12 education borrowers, including charter schools.

Mr. Snider heads RBC Capital Markets’ Charter School Finance Group. Since 2000, RBC Capital Markets has financed in excess of 100 charter school projects for over 50 charter school organizations, securing over $1.5 billion for acquisition, construction, renovation, leasehold improvements, refinancing and related costs for charter schools. RBC Capital Markets’ Charter School Finance Group has financed charter schools in multiple states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Mr. Snider has served as RBC's lead banker for Aspire Public Schools, BASIS Schools and Great Hearts Academies, among others.

Outside of the K-12 education area, high profile bond financings lead and completed by Mr. Snider include $350 million of research facilities for the University of Arizona and $450 million for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority’s share of the home stadium of the NFL Arizona Cardinals and MLB spring training facilities.

Mr. Snider received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in finance from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude, and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

Mr. Snider’s community involvement includes sitting on several boards, including serving on the executive committees and as Board Chair of the Phoenix Boys Choir Association and Arizona School for the Arts, an excelling Arizona charter school, as well as being a member the board and advisory committee of the Arizona Charter School Association.

Bio

Regional Coverage

Julie Santamaria

Director
Florida

+1.727.895.8871

Julie Santamaria has been with RBC Capital Markets for 20 years and has been involved in financings for cities, counties, and other governmental entities throughout Florida totaling over $26 billion.  Ms. Santamaria’s recent experience with Florida governments includes Polk County, Hernando County, Sarasota County, Lee County, Venice, Davie, City of Sarasota, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Naples, and Titusville.  

In addition to general government expertise, Julie Santamaria has extensive utility experience, having worked with clients on utility capital improvement plans, rate study design, special assessment methodology, water and sewer revenue bonds, utility assessment revenue bonds, SRF loans, and bank loans.  Since 2003, Ms. Santamaria has completed 74 utility financings totaling over $3.8 billion. 

Julie Santamaria earned a B.S. from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from Stetson University.  Her education includes study at Harvard University and Oxford University (England).  Ms. Santamaria is a NASD Registered General Securities Representative, a Municipal Securities Principal, and a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Professional Qualifications Committee, which develops the tests for the licensing of municipal professionals. 

 

Bio

Paul Clancy

Director
Northeast & Mid-Atlantic

+1.215.832.1518

Mr. Clancy is a Director in the Philadelphia Municipal Finance office of RBC Capital Markets and is an investment banker with the firm’s Higher Education Finance Group and the Charter School Finance Group.

Mr. Clancy joined RBC Capital Markets in 2008 after having worked since 1998 as a regional investment banker and office manager for A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc., and Commerce Capital Markets.  Mr. Clancy also worked as a financial advisor for six years with Fairmount Capital Advisors from 1992 through 1998.

Mr. Clancy is a member of the Finance Committee and Audit Committee of Neumann University (Aston, PA) and a member of the Investments Committee of Immaculata University (Chester County, PA).

As a registered securities representative, Mr. Clancy currently holds Series 7, Series 52, Series 65 and Series 67 securities licenses.  He holds a BA from Lafayette College and a MBA from Villanova University.

Bio

Clarence Grier

Managing Director
Texas

+1.214.989.1750

Bio

Akshai J. Patel

Vice President
Arizona

+1.602.381.5370

Mr. Patel recently joined RBC Capital Markets as Vice President on the Municipal Finance team, where he will focus on helping educational leaders in innovative and quality schools find affordable financing for their facilities – ensuring more education dollars go to classrooms where they can have the largest impact on students. He previously served as Chief Strategy Officer for ASU Preparatory Academies, a charter school network of 12 schools and over 3,000 students sponsored by Arizona State University, and was co-founder of Phoenix Collegiate Academy (PCA), which was recognized as 2012 Arizona Charter School of the Year.

Driven by a passion to support the neediest students in his hometown, Mr. Patel joined Teach For America and taught for 5 years. Motivated to change those students' lives permanently by helping his scholars find a path to college, Patel joined two fellow TFA alumni to co-found PCA, the first university preparatory school in that community, a Building Excellent Schools-incubated charter school which he grew into a preK-12 network serving an over 90% high-poverty and 90% minority student population. In 2011, he was recognized as a finalist for Arizona Charter School Leader of the Year. As CEO, he led the school to produce 3 graduating classes in which over 90% of students were accepted to a university, more than 90% matriculated to post-secondary and over 90% have persisted there, while also increasing its S&P credit rating to BBB-. He authored a one-of-its kind merger with Arizona State University, which was noted on S&P’s Charter School Sector Outlook, transforming the schools into the 6th ASU Prep region in 2018: “ASU Prep South Phoenix PCA.” As head of strategy for that network, he designed a growth plan to expand the footprint of ASU Prep to other underserved communities, especially Arizona students in rural, reservation, and incarcerated settings.

Mr. Patel earned his MBA at Columbia University and M.Ed at ASU’s Teachers College. He graduated summa cum laude from ASU with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Political Science. He was a 2007 Fulbright grantee to Chile, an alumnus of the Pahara NextGen Fellowship, and the lead founder and Board Member of DeansList, an education software company that helps hundreds of high-performing schools nationally use data to improve results. He has been a university instructor at ASU Teachers College and ASU Public Service Academy. He serves on the Board for the Phoenix Public Library Foundation.

Bio

John Solarczyk

Managing Director
California

+1.213.362.4115

Mr. Solarczyk recently joined RBC after 5 years in the charter school facilities finance groups of Ziegler and Stifel.  He is highly regarded in public finance and has more than 25 years of banking experience. He spent most of his career as a banker at De La Rosa & Co., which he joined in 1993 and served as a senior underwriter on its trading desk from 2011 to 2014 prior to that firm being acquired by Stifel.  As an underwriter, Mr. Solarczyk focused on placing lower rated debt and educational financings (both for charter schools and for school districts) for the second most active trading desk in California municipal bonds.

Mr. Solarczyk’s experience with financing charter school facilities began in 2011 with Rocketship Education in San Jose, California. Upon De La Rosa & Co. merging with Stifel on April 1, 2014, he became co‐head of the firm’s new charter school facilities finance group - while also continuing to cover select governmental clients - with a primary focus on the western United States.  This business focus continued at Ziegler, which Mr. Solarczyk joined in 2015. Since 2015, he has closed multiple financings to build or acquire permanent charter school facilities in California, Arizona and New Mexico; he is actively pursuing charter school facility financings in these states, along with Nevada and Louisiana. 

Mr. Solarczyk holds Series 7, 24, 53, and 63 licenses from FINRA.  He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics.

Bio

Bond Process & Capabilities

Bond Process Handout

Capabilities Handout