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Fri, Dec. 06

Superfluous wording? Or the law? Mingus Union, Valley Academy to discuss, possibly approve agreement at meeting

Penny Hargrove, Bob Weir

Penny Hargrove, Bob Weir

COTTONWOOD – It may seem to be a matter of semantics, but the phrase “course costs” is more than a sticking point in the proposed Intergovernmental Agreement between Mingus Union High School District’s governing board and the governing board of Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education.

To Mingus Union, the phrase is superfluous. To Valley Academy, it’s a matter of law.

At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the offices of the Verde Valley’s career and technical education program, both districts will take part in a meeting to discuss and possibly approve an agreement both sides could say is fair.

And to decide – once and for all – whether the phrase “course costs” is pertinent to their agreement.

Course costs

As representatives from Valley Academy have said since discussions started earlier this year, Arizona Revised Statute 15-393 explains that a program such as Valley Academy can pay out a percentage of course costs as much as an agreed-upon percentage.

This means that based on the IGA already agreed to between V’ACTE and Camp Verde Unified, as well as between V’ACTE and Sedona Oak Creek Unified, V’ACTE would pay Mingus Union 70 percent of money spent on satellite courses.

But Mingus Union’s district superintendent says that budgeting for a figure based on course costs is not as easy as budgeting for a hard number.

“We want 70 percent, straight,” says Dr. Penny Hargrove, district superintendent with Mingus Union. “And they want 70 percent of course costs. That’s the difference.”

Valley Academy offers two types of career and technical education programs. One, satellite programming, involves courses offered at their partners’ campuses. The other, centralized programs, are offered at a campus furnished by V’ACTE or another partner.

On Aug. 8, Camp Verde Unified’s school board voted to approve an IGA with Valley Academy, the same agreement that Valley Academy agreed to on Aug. 4.

On Sept. 12, Sedona Oak Creek Unified’s school board voted to approve the same IGA with Valley Academy, also the same agreement that Valley Academy agreed to on Aug. 4.

Arizona Revised Statute 15-393 can be seen at https://www.azleg.gov/ars/15/00393.htm.

Best for kids

Says Valley Academy Superintendent Bob Weir, the Oct. 5 joint meeting is an opportunity for both sides to “lay down their differences.”

“If you get everybody in the room together, I believe we’ll get an agreement that’s best for kids,” Weir says.

At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board will meet with Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education’s governing board at the V’ACTE offices on 830 S. Main St., suite 2G, in Cottonwood.

A copy of the agenda will be made available no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting. The agenda can be found at www.boarddocs.com/az/cocsd/Board.nsf/vpublic?open.

Call 928-634-7131 for more information.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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