The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is offering $30 million to help charter schools in Houston get $300 million in tax-exempt bonds to build more schools.
The money will help one charter organizations _ KIPP Houston _ but the foundation says it is willing to help other groups get financing as well.
The credit support agreement is the foundation's first attempt to use "non-traditional means" to support its other investments in global health, global development and U.S. programs such as education.
The Seattle-based foundation plans to invest a total of $400 million in similar program-related investments over the next two years. The foundation may also offer low-income loans, loan guarantees and equity investment.
The Gates Foundation was created in 2000 by the Microsoft chairman and his wife.