The Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education for the 2017-18 school year at its meeting Aug. 8.
The IGA between the districts, which the VACTE Governing Board unanimously approved Aug. 4, stipulates no less than a 70/30 percent split in CVUSD’s favor: For the 2017-18 school year, at least 70 percent of funding generated through high school campus attendance in VACTE’s programs goes to the high school, while no more than 30 percent goes to VACTE.
“We’re getting along,” Weir said of VACTE’s relationship with CVUSD. Had the relationship gone south with no IGA, Weir added, students would likely not have been able to access VACTE’s CTE programs at Camp Verde High School and South Verde High School.
“Our relationship is moving forward [and] I’m very excited about Camp Verde,” he said. “Our board wants to work with them and I believe they want to work with us.”
Based upon a 70/30 percent split mandated by the IGA, Weir estimates that Camp Verde will be allocated $193,000 in 2017-18, an $8,000 reduction from last year’s distribution. Weir admitted that the process of coming to an agreeable figure took some time — an assessment CVUSD Superintendent Dennis Goodwin agreed with on Aug. 8, calling the negotiations “a long, drawn-out process” that began in February.
Nonetheless, Goodwin said that he now believes the agreement is fair. To allay CVUSD’s skepticism — a belief among the three local districts, according to Weir’s interpretation, that VACTE could afford to give more than 70 percent — Weir and his governing board offered to open up VACTE’s books to prove that it is running “very lean,” with little room to negotiate.
For the 2017-18 school year, Weir has a managing and operations budget of $1,309,598 and an unrestricted capital budget of $375,995. Sixteen percent of the M&O budget, or $226,891, is dedicated to administrative services, down 2.2 percent from last year.
Instructional staff and services are allocated 79 percent, or $1,022,690. The additional 5 percent is dedicated to central campus services, operation and maintenance.
Among 12-month employees for 2017-18, Weir will earn $86,500 plus a contingent $1,000 performance pay; the curriculum and professional development coordinator will earn $44,200; the financial assistant will earn $35,000 and the program and data specialist will earn $28,000.
A subcontracted business manager, paid hourly, earned $4,200 in 2016-17.
Three 10-month employees — a certified nursing assistant teacher, a fire science teacher and a construction teacher — together will earn $76,000.
Despite assurances that VACTE is operating in good faith with open books, Weir said neither Sedona-Oak Creek School District nor Mingus Union High School District have signed under the same IGA with VACTE.
“They won’t let us on campus or market [to students],” Weir said, adding that while neither district can restrict a student from attending central programs at VACTE’s headquarters in Cottonwood, they can restrict access to VACTE programs on their own campuses.
Weir said that he is “fairly confident” SOCSD will sign an IGA soon. He hopes MUHSD will follow suit.
Assuming that VACTE can eventually work out a 70/30 percent split IGA with SOCSD and MUHSD, Weir estimates that SOCSD will receive $174,000 in 2017-18, a $1,500 reduction from last year, and MUHSD will receive $337,000, a $1,000 reduction.
According to Weir, both SOCSD and MUHSD ended last school year with surplus money left over from VACTE: $59,000 in SOCSD’s case and $49,000 in MUHSD’s.
Updates to the IGA negotiations among VACTE, SOCSD and MUHSD are forthcoming.