Mon, July 22

House Education Committee passes consolidation bill 1073

VERDE VALLEY – Over the past month, SB 1073 has been passed by three of the State Senate’s committees: Education, Rules and COW – Committee of the Whole – then it was passed by the Senate Floor.

Monday, the State House’s Committee on Education unanimously passed the consolidation bill – as amended by Chairwoman Michele Udall (R).

According to Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter, the amendment extended the repeal language of the bill from 2020 to 2022.

For SB 1073 to become law, the House Rules, the House COW and the House Floor will need to pass the bill – before it goes to Gov. Doug Ducey for final approval.

If the proposed consolidation of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts goes to vote, SB 1073 would leave the canvasing of votes as interpreted in Arizona Revised Statute 15-459 so each of three member districts – Clarkdale-Jerome, Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union – would be counted separately.

SB 1073 also states that the successor school district “that results from that unification or consolidation” would automatically continue to participate in the community’s career and technical education program – Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education – in the same manner as the former school district that was unified or consolidated.

Although a draft of SB 1073 also stated that $50,000 would be set aside to help offset transition costs of a new unified district, the appropriation language was removed at the request of the Senate Appropriations Chair but the amount for transition cost would be included in the budget, according to Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter.

If voters are to have a say-so on the proposed school district consolidation, petitions will need to be filed with Carter’s office by 5 p.m. June 3, according to the consolidation election checklist.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42