Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 15, 2013

Neoga makes significant teacher cuts

NEOGA — Neoga school board continued making cuts at its meeting Thursday evening, honorably dismissing 12 certified teachers.

The unanimous decision at the meeting, held in the junior high/high school library, was another step the district has been forced to take in order to reduce costs as it grapples with decreased state aid. While the meeting was attended by more than 30 people, no one addressed the board.

Superintendent Chuck Castle said he didn't know if this would be the end of the staff cuts that would need to be made.

"We just absolutely have no idea," he said. "It's all contingent on how much we can get from the state and how much of our resources that they could take away from us."

The dismissals include two Title I, two first grade, a third grade, three junior high, two high school teachers and a physical education and industrial technology teacher. The board also voted to reduce the school's nurse to half time.

While cutting staff makes some impact on the budget, Castle said the district is still pursuing intergovernmental agreements with neighboring districts, hoping to start athletic or academic co-ops in order to offset the costs of staff, as well as to make up for gaps in academic offerings the current dismissals will cause.

"Right now, we're looking for anyone," he said. "Some of them could start as early as next year."

With further cuts still up in the air and the status of incoming state aid still in question, Castle said he had never expected the position the district has found itself in.

"I would have never dreamed it would have been this way," he said. "You look around and all the schools, regardless of how big they are, are having to do the same thing."

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.

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