The school district's controversial business company, which operates a school in China, has repaid the almost $1-million it borrowed from the New Westminster School District roughly a decade ago.
A final payment of $189,000, plus interest, means that the School District No. 40 business company has repaid all funds that were originally advanced from the district, said a school district press release.
"The board of education is pleased that SD40BC has seen significant improvement in its financial results in recent years that has allowed the company to repay the advance faster than expected," board of education chair James Janzen said in the release.
Janzen commended chief executive officer Brent Atkinson's "leadership" role in taking the company from a fledgling financial drain on the district to a profit-turning enterprise.
In the release Atkinson, who had been a school trustee and leader of the business company for several years, said now that the loan is repaid, the company can focus its efforts on new initiatives to provide for New Westminster students.
The district's board of education is the sole shareholder of the business company. The company operates the overseas school, which offers the B.C. curriculum as well as English-as-a-second-language classes in Wenzhou, China.
The business company has had its share of controversy over the years. Critics said it pulled time and money away from local students. A recent auditor general's report on the school district's business company found that Atkinson may have been in a conflict as chief executive officer of the company and a school trustee.
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