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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions July 27, 2015

12/12/2013 1:36:00 PM
Editorial: Override breathing room welcome relief for Cottonwood-Oak Creek, Mingus Union

The wisdom of Cottonwood voters in approving the November budget overrides for Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union can best be seen right now in Camp Verde.

Operating without the extra financial assistance of a voter-approved override, Camp Verde schools are now debating the merits of going to a four-day school week.

It's not a novel idea and Camp Verde would not be the first school district in the state to make the shift to a four-day week. Nationwide, there are about 120 school districts on a four-day schedule. In Camp Verde's case, district administrators are putting a positive spin on the proposal, and such a move does indeed seem to have its merits.

But at the same time, without an override cushion, Camp Verde schools have little fiscal breathing room right now and the conversion to a four-day week no doubt will help the district with its utility, food service, transportation and substitute teacher expenses.

The move to a four-day school week, if it is approved, could prove to be as innovative as it is necessary for Camp Verde.

And as for Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union, they can thank their voters that they still have a little breathing room.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

I'm a nocturnal web-crawler, Mr. Nothing-but, and I'm tired of asking people to call C-OCSD for information that should be readily available .

Why don't you call Stephanie Jones (928-634-7055) and get back to us with the true number of students among the purported 440 MVP 2013/2014 enrollment who actually were out of the C-OCS district before signing up for IB?

Otherwise, I'll continue to assume that, whatever the exact number, it wasn't consequential enough to warrant a single news release or mention in the newsletters.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Nothing but the Truth

Ms. Stilson, school budgets are very difficult for most to understand. Override funds CANNOT be used to pay for building repairs or maintenance. They are used for programs and staff. These are just 2 separate issues, connected primarily by the fact that the involve money.

Itsy bitsy -- the school has several students from Sedona, and Camp Verde (a bus goes there) as well as home schooled and charter schooled kids in the area. Call MVP and ask how many students are new to the district -- they have that information.

Breathing Room -- Great idea, however, Cornville wanted nothing to do with this IB school which people are now clamoring to get into.

Pix -- Oak Creek School was and is a great school. The primary problem was that it was running at a quarter million dollar deficit every year. Something had to change in order for it to remain open. It was restructured and is a great school.

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

What out-of-district students, Mr. Room? If they don't stop transferring CE and CMS kids to MVP, they'll have to close the Cottonwood campus.

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Jeanette Stilson

Why is it that we never heard about the capital expenditures and, perhaps, new buildings that the Cottonwood/Oak Creek Middle Schools need before the Override Election was Over?

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: Pix and Chooses

Breathing room Yes it seems like Oak Creek - Cornville school had a really nice thing going on. But enormous budget cuts and major politics pretty much destroyed it. I don't know even half the story there. What I do know is that teachers are not paid enough. I just divided the starting salary of a COCSD teacher 29k by 2000 hours and it comes out to 14.5 dollars per hour. Ouch. Don't know why any top notch professional would stick around for that. What is also clear to me is that the Verde Valley community cares deeply about their children and the teachers I know are very grateful for that support.

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013
Article comment by: Breathing room?

The alacrity with which the C-OCSD Board decided C-OCSD property owners would also be willing to pony up for capital investments takes my breath away. But it doesn't surprise me. This is exactly the same strategy followed in Tucson. Obviously, the overcrowding at Tavasci can't continue without losing the out-of-district MVP students for which the campus is now intended. Concerned citizens really must expand Oak Creek Elementary, which is a much better location for an I.B. candidate school. Or better yet, provide enough bond funding to establish a new campus where students dedicated to overcoming the Verde Valley's disinclination to send children to school can study unmolested by kids whose parents can't imagine where they got the idea Cottonwood, Verde Village, and Cornville are anti-education.

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