Wed, May 22

Editorial: Mingus, C-OC on right path with share services

Actions speak louder than words and the actions of late by the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts speak volumes.

Mingus and C-OC currently are involved in a study to decide how to divvy things up so a single administration can manage both school districts.

It’s going to be tricky. The politics and history of such an endeavor do not weigh in on the side of success. We’ve been down this road many times before under the banner of consolidation and unification and have always met failure.

This time, though, there are signs that could lead you to believe these two school boards are going to find a way to get this done.

In the past week, in separate meetings, the two school districts voted to jointly hire a shared director of special education. That person, in turn, will hire an Individual Education Plan specialist that likewise will serve both districts.

That’s commendable in and of itself, but what’s even more impressive is the attitude and approach of the two districts to make this happen. There is no tug-of-war over which district gets the lion’s share of service from this shared position.

Mingus Superintendent Tim Foist and C-OC boss Barb U’Ren say sharing the special education positions will bring a more coordinated professional staff to both districts. And as U’ren emphasized to her board last week, who gets what is not the issue. In response to a question from Board Member Janice Rollins about whether “Will we be sharing equally,” U’Ren said the director and IEP specialist would put their time in where it was most needed.

This shared services concept between Mingus and Cottonwood-Oak Creek is obviously more than lip service.

The two districts already are making it happen.

Keep up the good work!