Print Schools debate resource sharing
Written by Greg Ruland   
Saturday, 07 May 2011 00:00

Joint agreements among Verde Valley School districts to save costs could free up tens of thousands of dollars for investment in the classroom if all goes as predicted, Mingus Union High School District Business Manager Kirk Waddle said.

Buses queue to pick up students at Mingus Union High School on Monday, May 2. A potential intergovernmental agreement between Mingus Union High School District and Camp Verde Unified School District is in the discussion phase.MUHSD Governing Board voted unanimously Thursday, April 28, in favor of two such agreements, one to create a purchasing consortium through the Yavapai County Education Services Agency, and the other with Camp Verde Unified School District to share the cost of services.

Neither agreement is complete, but an intergovernmental agreement to create a purchasing consortium for transportation products like fuel, oil and tires is furthest along in the process, Waddle said.

In addition to school districts, the consortium could also include Verde Valley municipalities and fire districts, he said.

“We’re trying to get economies of scale through bulk purchases of things like tires and maybe even share mechanics at times,” Waddle said.

“Almost all schools use the same two brands of buses,” Waddle said. “The consortium will quantify how many of each type of bus each district has and then buy lubricants, oil and fuel in bulk.”

A 10 percent reduction in transportation supply costs, for example, would save MUHSD $12,000, he said.

A possible agreement with CVUSD has further to go. The MUHSD board directed administration to work with CVUSD administration to develop a menu of services that could be shared.

“Tim and I are going to work with [CVUSD Superintendent] Dan Brown and his staff to come up with a list that could work between the districts,” Waddle said.

The cost of central office, curriculum development, food and special education services are included on the list of services that could be shared, he said.

Waddle said the board directed him and Foist to create a “smorgasbord” of potential shared services for their review. The list will be considered at the next board meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 12.

“We’re going to get this together as soon as we can do it,” Waddle said. “There’s a lot of fear of change, but we’re having very good discussions.”