Mingus, C-OC to have forum on unification Jan. 19

Direction to go depends on both school boards

COTTONWOOD -- A public forum on unification of Mingus Union High School and Cottonwood-Oak Creek districts is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Mingus auditorium.

MUHS Superintendent Tim Foist said Thursday that he hopes to use a Town Hall format. But that will not be determined for certain until after both the MUHS and C-OC school boards meet this week to determine whether they want to proceed with unification.

Unification was the topic during a joint meeting Tuesday night between MUHS and C-OC districts. If unification efforts are successful this time around, it will be by resolution of both boards instead of state mandate or public vote.

Administrators from both districts led the governing boards through a Power Point presentation covering both the logistics of unification and some of the major issues that must be resolved.

Although many issues were covered in the presentation, and then covered during a general discussion, salary equalization was the one topic that all parties agreed could kill the deal

C-OC Superintendent Barbara U'Ren told the joint boards that salary equalization would cost $1 million for salaries only. Benefits also would come into play during a unification process.

Local state officials have indicated they believe the state would come up with money to help cover the costs of salary equalization during the transition into a unified school district.

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