School districts drum up override support

Barb U’Ren

Barb U’Ren

Voters will consider in November overrides that could mean millions in funding for the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union High School districts.

Override committee Partners in Education and the districts' superintendents have been giving presentations to community groups. Though the overrides passed by close margins the last time around, COCSD Superintendent Barbara U'Ren told the board Tuesday night that the information sessions have been well received.

MUHS Superintendent Paul Tighe and U'Ren will be speaking on local radio, and have drafted informational flyers that will go out in the city's water bills one zone at a time.

Teachers will be offering fact sheets and voter registration forms at parent-teacher conferences.

"We provide the facts and that's all we provide," U'Ren said.

Board President Jason Finger said one of the negative criticisms of the override has been that the two districts need to unify to save money.

"That's great, but that's not what the discussion is about right now," Finger said. "It's scary to think of (voters) punishing the district."

U'Ren said this issue was brought up during one of the PIE and superintendent presentations.

"It's been a conversation for 50 years," she said. "The two districts are sharing quite a few things. We are always looking for those ways to create greater efficiencies."

During the portion of the board meeting set aside for a shared services update, U'Ren said the main focus has been on the overrides, as well as coordinating school visits between MUHS and COCSD.

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