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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters May 24, 2016

10/3/2013 3:04:00 PM
Letter: Override good for kids and good for the Verde Valley


As communities, we have held on with tenacity to local control in educating our children. We are the ones closest to what we value in raising and teaching our kids. Each of our individual Verde Valley districts honors the need to prepare our children for success in college, the workforce, and life.

Legislative budget balancing has continued to squeeze the dollars for classrooms as e focus on academic standards. These reduced funds in our schools bring a loss of teachers in our classrooms, a loss of programs we value in our curricula, and a lack of materials for educating our students.

The school districts in the Verde Valley have had voters saying "Yes" to continue this local support. This community funding control helps retain and strengthen the programs and services that each of our communities value - like small class sizes, technology, music and arts, fitness and athletics, and counseling.

Good school labels and grades are measures of educational accountability, but the goodness and life successes of our children are reflections of what we feel are important.

The Governing Board of the Clarkdale-Jerome School District wishes to express their unanimous support for the override renewal elections of Mingus Union High School and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

We ask again the citizens use their local option and support education funding. Please vote "Yes" for the continuation of the budget overrides.

It's good for kids and it's good for the Verde Valley.

Jill Zaske, President

Becky O'Banion, Clerk

Michael Gordon, Member

Laurie Lozano, Member

Dale Williams, Member

Kathleen Fleenor, Superintendent

Clarkdale Jerome School District

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013
Article comment by: Not happening in the COCSD

It's truly unfortunate that the good values expressed by the Clarkdale school board are not happening in the COCSD school district, even with the override in place, as it has been for many years now.

In the COCSD we see nurses, sports, counselors reduced or cut in some or all of its schools. Full time kindergarten teachers cut to half time. Special ed cut.

We see teachers hammered with class sizes of 35 kids, reducing their ability to effectively teach and kids to learn.

Teachers get shorted in supplies and have to spend hundreds out of their own pockets to do their jobs. Teacher's salaries get frozen for years at a time.

Meanwhile, the COCSD has plenty of money for school board members and administrative staff taking trips to pleasant vacation destinations for social networking events on the taxpayer's dime.

The COCSD spent some $45,000 of our money on a PR firm to extol their virtues to the public, money we thought was being spent in the classroom.

They seem to have plenty of money to pay their superintendent Barbara U'Ren.

Giving the COCSD more money will not solve this problem, because under Superintendent U'Ren classroom spending is at an all time low WITH THE OVERRIDE IN PLACE.

Financial audits show barely half the money you think is going to the classroom actually makes it there.

Giving this district more money will only perpetuate a bad situation that is hurting our teachers and kids.

Vote no on the COCSD override.

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