Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

February 13, 2014

Neoga School Board prepares for special meetings

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

NEOGA — With threats of staff cuts on the horizon, the Neoga School Board discussed future community outreach and discussions with the Neoga Teachers Association for later in the month.

At its board meeting Thursday, NTA President Nick Schultze said he had looked at past budgets and predicted budgets for incoming state aid and wanted to know how aware the board was of the district's financial situation.

"Every time I come in here, people say 'we don't have the answers, we don't know what's going on,'" he said. "When I went and looked at the numbers, I felt like I had to share them with you in case you don't have them."

The numbers, a compilation of past, present and expected revenues and expenditures, showed upcoming years of Neoga being in a deficit. Schultze said he was hoping to have more answers from the board after last school year when regular community hearings and special board meetings were held with teachers and staff to keep people informed of the district's financial concerns.

"I want to work with you guys on the problem," he said. "The morale in the schools right now is horrendous. We don't know what was going to happen."

Board members said some of these issues would have to be discussed in the future when the district had more information.

"We would like to give you some answers," said board  member Chris Strohl. "We really would. Right now, we just don't have the numbers."

Board President Tina Moore said decisions about staff cuts are difficult for the board to make and further answers would be forthcoming.

"I don't know how to answer your question and that sucks," she said. "I know it's not my job on the line here, but it's not any easier on us."

A special meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. to further discuss the issue.