Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

May 10, 2013

Neoga School district discusses budgets for this year and next

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

---- — With summer approaching, Neoga school board made preparations for whatever financial situation they expect to find themselves in at the board’s meeting Thursday night.

“While everyone else is winding down for the year, we’re entering probably the biggest time for the central office,” said Superintendent Chuck Castle.

Along with preparing for teacher evaluations for next year, Castle said he has been communicating with local legislators to work with the governor on creating a state budget that is more supportive of schools. Castle also said recent trends have led him to believe the state will begin to more consistently make payments to schools and he has factored that into the tentative budget for next year.

Despite Castle’s optimism about timely payments from the state, the board made a reduction in force for next year, dismissing three non-certified staff members, two clerks and a cook Thursday.

Focusing on this year, Castle presented an amended budget to the board while admitting further changes may need to be made.

“We knew we were going to have to do an amended budget this year, because we were waiting to see how everything washed out,” he said.

The final budget will still need to be approved by the board and on display for the community for 30 days.

Also Thursday, new academic plans were made, namely the introduction of a psychology class for high school students. High school Principal Benjamin Johnson said the class would not be an additional cost for the district as the class can borrow some books from Stewardson-Strasburg High School. Johnson said the class could have some benefit for any student, regardless of what his or her future career plans are.

“Most students have to take a psychology class in college and even for those who aren’t going to college, learning about the human mind is always a good thing,” he said.

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