Steamboat School Board to consider $60K loan for charter school

Zero-interest loan would eliminate charter school's longstanding budget deficit

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs School Board meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Monday

Where: George P. Sauer Human Services Center

Agenda packet

— The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night will consider signing off on a $60,000 loan to the North Routt Community Charter School to eliminate the school's budget deficit.

According to the proposed loan agreement, the charter school in Clark has been operating with a deficit since 2004 in violation of state statute.

The proposed agreement states that the state auditor of Colorado “sends an admonishing letter to the district every year, noting the violation of the statute, and demanding a plan to eliminate the deficit.”

To eliminate the deficit and get the Clark campus into compliance, the charter school is asking the School Board to approve the loan with no interest and no payment date. Instead, payments will be made “at the end of each year that the school has an increase in fund balance.”

The loan also will require that if the charter school has a budget deficit in the future, Steamboat Superintendent Brad Meeks and Finance Director Dale Mellor will meet with the charter school's director to “discuss future expenditures.”

Charter school director Colleen Poole couldn't be reached for comment Sunday afternoon.

According to the minutes of the charter school's June board meeting, the board spent some time discussing how it could work to increase its enrollment.

"Increased enrollment continues to be the biggest need for NRCCS," the minutes of the meeting read.

The charter school opened in 2001, and in January, teachers at the small campus welcomed students into a brand new building that Poole said could eventually boost max enrollment from 70 students to 100 students.

The $3.8 million facility was constructed after the charter school received a $3.2 million Building Excellent Schools Today grant from Colorado’s Capital Construction Assistance Program. The remaining funds came from the Steamboat Springs School District, the Gates Family Foundation and a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Steamboat Springs School District officials said last month the campus was expected to start this school year with at least 68 students.

Also at Monday's meeting, the School Board will:

  • Consider accepting a $76,360 gift from the Steamboat Springs Booster Club to pay for the construction of a vulcanized rubber track in the upper level of the Kelly Meek Gymnasium at Steamboat Springs High School. “This track will be utilized not just by athletic teams, but also by general student body during the course of their physical fitness classes,” Booster Club President Scott Glynn wrote in a letter announcing the gift.
  • Hear a presentation from Superintendent Brad Meeks outlining his goals for the 2012-13 school year
  • Hear an update from Human Resources Director Judy Harris about the operation of the district's new health clinic for its employees.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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