Fri, Feb

Despite being near — or at, depending on the analyst — the bottom of the list for teacher pay nationally, Arizona’s voters continue to express the need for better K-12 education.
According to a December 2017 poll via education advocacy group Expect More Arizona, the majority of the poll’s approximately 600 likely Arizona voters agreed education is the No. 1 issue for the state. It is the third year the poll resulted in education being named top priority.

Although Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District has decided the matter of its consolidation with Mingus Union High School District should be in the hands of voters next November, the 13-member MUHSD and COCSD Advisory Committee for Consolidation continues to examine the implications of consolidating districts.

At 4 p.m., Jan. 9, MUHS will host the next consolidation committee meeting. In the meantime, two members of the MUHSD Governing Board have weighed in on the issue.

Jason Finger, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board vice president, has weighed in on consolidation.

On Dec. 5, the governing board voted unanimously to consolidate COCSD with Mingus Union High School District as a single school district, formally requesting Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter to put the measure to voters on the November 2018 ballot.

Three weeks ago, Camp Verde Unified School District Superintendent Dennis Goodwin informed the CVUSD Governing Board that he would not seek to renew his contract.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the governing board approved the agenda item pertaining to Goodwin’s intent, effectively finalizing the end date of his three-year tenure: June 30, 2018.

The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board voted unanimously to consolidate COCSD with Mingus Union High School District as a single school district Dec. 5.

“We respectfully request the [Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter] call an election to allow the collective district voters to determine the consolidation question at a November 2018 election,” Tuesday’s motion read.

What do Camp Verde Unified School District, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Sedona-Oak Creek School District all agree on? Endorsing the Arizona Education Progress Meter, which uses eight indicators to measure how close Arizona is stacking up against the goal of reaching a 60 percent post-secondary education rate by 2030.
The Progress Meter was developed by Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2016. In addition to the local school districts named, Coconino and Yavapai counties have endorsed the Arizona Progress Meter.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King said he is unwilling to endorse a realignment of district schools until all of the information is in.

King, who entered his first year as superintendent for the 2017-18 school year following the departure of longtime COCSD Superintendent Barbara U’Ren, has been tasked by the COCSD Governing Board with exploring the possibility of realigning three of the district’s five schools into two kindergarten-to-eighth-grade schools — a move that would likely result in the closure of one of the three schools.

Teachers, administrators and parents of students in Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District and Mingus Union High School District can breathe a sigh of relief:The votes of the Nov. 7 election are in, and both districts’ override continuations passed with a clear majority.

3,457 voters in the two precincts comprising COCSD, or 60.86 percent of the vote, cast ballots in favor of the override continuation, while 2,223, or 39.14 percent, cast ballots against.

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