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.