Elgin School Board votes to end discussion on “cornfield” school

Home of the Eagles, photo by The Elgin Review
Elgin Public School, main office building. Elgin, Nebraska

In the space of just a few minutes, the District #18 Board of Education made it clear Elgin students will not be attending a “cornfield” school anytime in the near future.
The board voted six to zero to discontinue talks with school officials from Neligh-Oakdale, Clearwater and Ewing regarding consolidating into one school district. Another school involved in discussions, Orchard, announced earlier this week they would not be a part of any consolidation effort.
With Orchard and now Elgin saying “no” to a “cornfield” school, that leaves Neligh-Oakdale, Ewing and Clearwater to decide whether to go forward with the idea.
District #18 Board President Steve Heithoff and board member Stan Heithoff reported on an information session they attended late last month with representatives from the other districts. They attended the meeting “as good neighbors” as the school board had expressed in May no desire to be part of such a school plan. They both publicly stated that there would be a significant increase in taxes for District #18 patrons were Elgin to become part of a “cornfield” school district.
Board member Lisa Welding expressed concerns about the number of District #18 employees who face the possibility of losing their jobs under a new school district in the coming years.
“It always comes back to taxes,” board member Steve Busteed said. Another board member, Robert Hoefer, said the benefits don’t outweigh the negatives.
When given the opportunity, no one from the public spoke either for or against the proposed district.