School board approves repayment plan for North Routt Community Charter School loan | SteamboatToday.com

School board approves repayment plan for North Routt Community Charter School loan

Teresa Ristow

Zakkary Leftwich

— The Steamboat Springs Board of Education on Monday approved a repayment plan for a $60,000 loan the district provided to North Routt Community Charter School in 2012.

The district had loaned the charter school, which is authorized as part of the district, the money as a way to eliminate a running budget shortfall for the roughly 100-student charter school in Clark.

The debt, which had been whittled down from $112,000 to $60,000 by 2012, was attributed to low enrollment numbers at the school in 2004, according to a 2012 report in Steamboat Today.

The loan from the Steamboat Springs School District helped put the charter school in state compliance.

"We've had conversations over the years, but now, we've firmed up a deadline," said Superintendent Brad Meeks.

Per the repayment schedule, the charter school will pay back the district by June 30, 2022, approximately 10 years after the loan was given.

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"They're in a position right now where they can set aside $10,000 a year to pay us back," Meeks said. "They can certainly pay sooner if they wish to do so."

The board approved the repayment plan as one of two revisions to the district's contract with the school.

Another change to the contract involved no longer moving around per-pupil funds between the charter school and the district's general operating budget if a student transferred schools after the October deadline to determine per-pupil funds.

Budget outlook

District Finance Director Mark Rydberg discussed preliminary budget changes with the school board, pointing out that district health insurance costs had risen by about $100,000 more than budgeted this year due to many large claims.

Rydberg said the district's Collaborative Bargaining Team was scheduled to meet at noon Tuesday, and discussions were expected to take place regarding the district's health insurance costs.

Rydberg said the possibility of more cost sharing between the district and employees would be proposed.

Committee update

During an update from the Community Committee for Education, or CC4E, members Robin Schepper and Kevin Sankey reported that the group was on track with its timeline, which aims to secure some type of tax increase to fund school improvements on the November ballot.

School board member Roger Good questioned whether CC4E would be interested in pursuing state funding from the Building Excellent Schools Today grant program. Good is a new member of the BEST board.

Under the program, the district could be considered for a matching grant to help fund school construction.

If approved for a grant, the Steamboat Springs School District would be required to raise 80 percent of funds for a project and receive a 20 percent match.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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