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Nauvoo-Colusa Trying to Address Finances

The financial challenges facing the Nauvoo-Colusa School District have it taking a much closer look at its future.

Superintendent Kent Young says the district’s state aid has been steadily reduced over the years.

The district tried to address its budget, earlier this year, by seeking a $0.55 cent increase in the education fund property tax rate to $2.55/$100 assessed valuation.

The working cash bonds are only a temporary fix

Voters responded by overwhelmingly rejecting the proposal.

Young says because of that, the district has had to transfer several hundred thousand dollars from the transportation and operations funds into the education fund.

He says Nauvoo-Colusa has also borrowed $600,000 to avoid a second year of deficit spending.

Young says that is significant because the state of Illinois gets more involved in a district’s finances after two years of deficit spending.

“The working cash bonds are only a temporary fix,” says Young.  “It is kind of like putting a small bandage on a large cut.  What (the school board) is now looking at is the possibility of another referendum in March 2014.”

Young says the Nauvoo-Colusa School Board is also considering borrowing more money or entering into a new form of school reorganization.

Nauvoo-Colusa deactivated its high school several years ago.  Its 9th-12th grade students currently attend Warsaw High School.

Young says the district pays the Warsaw School District about $150,000/year to educate its high school students than it receives from Warsaw on behalf of its junior high school students.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.