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2/14/2013 2:09:00 PM
Shared services still on table
Cottonwood-Oak Creek will invite Mingus to joint board meeting
C-OC President Jason Finger: “We need to communicate with them (Mingus), and that is not happening now.”
C-OC President Jason Finger: “We need to communicate with them (Mingus), and that is not happening now.”
Philip Wright
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board decided Tuesday night to contact the Mingus Union High School Governing Board about scheduling another joint meeting. The meeting would be to further discuss the idea of shared services, including administrative positions.

When the agenda item came up, Superintendent Barbara U'Ren told the board that this is a discussion they definitely want to have.

Board President Jason Finger said that if the board wants to continue to move forward on the shared services idea, both boards need another joint meeting.

"I know this has been a long process," Finger said.

He explained that he had been in contact with the MUHS Board President Jim Ledbetter.

Board member JoAnne Cook made a motion to invite the Mingus School Board to a joint meeting to discuss shared services.

During discussion of the motion U'Ren told the board that she and David Snyder, director of business services, had a discussion with representatives from Lake Forest, Ill. a peer district that was mentioned in the Warner Report as having entered into a shared services agreement.

The Warner Group conducted a feasibility study on shared services for the districts. That study was paid for by Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter's office.

U'Ren told the board that Lake Forest had decided not to unify because the local tax structure would have caused the district to lose money.

She said that the people from Lake Forest said using a shared administration is very difficult.

It is difficult for the superintendent covering multiple districts because unless both boards are fully committed it can undermine the superintendent's authority.

Snyder said the most difficult part for the Lake Forest district has been curriculum.

Finger mentioned again that he would like to move forward with the discussions with Mingus.

"We need to communicate with them, and that is not happening now," Finger said.

He said he would like such a joint meeting to be arranged and scheduled before the next regular board meeting for COCSD.

"We need to sit down and talk," Finger said.

Cook's motion passed unanimously.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

There are pros and cons to sharing administrative personnel. Shouldn't these be examined objectively rather than as an adjunct to getting rid of an unpopular Superintendent?

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Lake Forest?

Should a Chicago area school district be used as an example for anything besides unpunished corruption?

There should be an investigation into COCSD's relationship to IBO and a Glendale PR firm/lobbying organization before sharing administrators.

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: Uren not reliable source

Of course Barb Uren is critical of sharing superintendents. Her job is at stake. That fact alone disqualifies her as a reliable source of accurate and objective information.

Many other districts share superintendents successfully. But more importantly, no other districts are exactly comparable to ours.

We are unique. Our experience will be unique. The sharing of one superintendent will be what our two school boards make of it. We are in control.

Sharing one superintendent will save both districts and taxpayers a lot of money. But the benefits extend far beyond that. Sharing will improve coordination and curriculum between districts. Our kids will benefit.

A new K-12 superintendent allows the COCSD to finally turn the page on all the appallingly bad decisions that have come out of Barb Urens administration over the past few years.

With a new shared superintendent, the COCSD stands to improve significantly. Our teachers will no longer go home in tears at how awful their work environment has become under Barb Uren. Our kids benefit.

With a shared superintendent, our public school districts will no longer compete against each other. With a new shared superintendent, we are assured both districts will complement and support each other, as they should.

The time has come. Lets hope both districts decide to move forward in a positive way.

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