Sat, Aug. 17

Letter: Don’t buy into the latest round of school district unification rhetoric


Clarkdale parents do you want to lose local control? Consolidation, Unification? Is bigger better? Is combined budgets better than local control?

Contrary to my good friend, Andy Groseta, I am opposed to unification. I have been involved in every proposition to join all the districts together since the 1950’s.

My mother was one of the leaders of the original push for consolidation and when they saw that it was not going to pass they switched to unifying the high school. Thus was born Mingus Union High School.

Many a masters thesis have been written about the consolidation issue at NAU. The union high school makes perfect sense and with the passing years it has given me a great opportunity to observe what happens as districts grow. Somewhere along the line Cottonwood took in Cornville.

From my observation, in the latest round of major decisions by the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School board and in order to create the new school at the Tavasci campus, the board ignored the wishes of the parents in Cornville and cut a number of their programs. Cornville had no control over what happened to their programs. They had no local control. Besides Cornville parents were just a minority and the board needed to do what was best for district at large. Right? Besides why doesn’t the school district call the school by its right name, Cornville school, not Oak Creek.

Clarkdale has stayed local and close with much parental input. It is a great school. Parents have direct impact on their school. I can’t imagine any Clarkdale parent voting for consolidation. Because of their small campus they too would have the possibility of being treated as minority group as is Cornville.

Is consolidation what is best for the students and families of Clarkdale or is it the tax base of the cement plant that Cottonwood-Oak Creek wants to share. Money talks.

One of the points for consolidation is that there will be just one superintendent instead of three. But with a larger district the superintendent will need to make more money because he is over more students. Then because of the increase in students more assistant superintendents will be needed.

Vicki Jo Anderson