- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

JEROME, Idaho (AP) - A charter school in south-central Idaho is drawing a $50,000 on a line of credit to cover summer expenses, and it plans on using state funds to pay it back.

Heritage Academy in Jerome is facing multiple challenges managing its budget, The Times-News (https://bit.ly/1BbV54Q ) reported.

“We always function on a really, really tight budget,” said Christine Ivie, superintendent at Heritage Academy, which teaches 170 students.

Heritage Academy currently owes $140,000 from buying a school building. Officials have negotiated a payment plan, but they have since depleted their reserve funds. The school expects to pay off the building by 2017.

“In the next five years, our goal is to work to build up that reserve little by little,” Ivie said. The school plans to set aside $10,000 to $15,000 per year.

School official agreed on Thursday to use a state payment slated for August to close out the line of credit. In total, the school receives $1.1million from the state.

State education officials are now requiring the school to file quarterly financial reports because of its financial instability.

Unlike school districts, charter schools are barred from using voter-approved bonds to help cover the costs of running a school.

Other charter schools in the region have also faced financial trouble. Wings Charter School closed in May 2014 after facing shrinking funds and declining enrollment. In 2012, Xavier Charter School nearly closed after facing a hike in rent. The school has since settled on an agreement to buy its building for $6.5 million.

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Information from: The Times-News, https://www.magicvalley.com


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