One School Superintendent?
Sonora High School
Sonora, CA -- A group has formed in Tuolumne County that is hoping to go further than just merge services between the Summerville and Sonora High School Districts.
The Tuolumne County Committee for the Unification of Resources for Education (TuCCURE) held its first meeting yesterday. One of the people spearheading the effort is former Supervisorial candidate Domenic Torchia. He says the group is proposing that all of the schools be placed under a single superintendent, and a single school board. The school board would have ten seats (two from each Supervisorial District). There would be elections every two years, and five seats would be on the ballot each time. The individual schools would remain open, but share administrative services. Each school would still have a principal to run the day-to-day operations.
As reported previously, the Sonora and Summerville High School Districts both expressed an interest last week in having a study conducted to look at potential cost savings of combining the two districts. It was noted that this action came after some school officials "caught wind" that a group may be looking at ballot measure to consolidate all of the schools. Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva is planning to request funding for a study from the Sonora Area Foundation.
When asked about the recent action of the school boards, Torchia says, "What they proposed here looks a lot like a smoke screen, to avoid dealing with the real problem, which is the tremendous cost and inefficiency of the current system of bureaucracy."
Torchia did not say whether his group plans to pursue a ballot measure, but said they would, "pursue all the avenues available by the law."
Sonora Area Foundation Executive Director Ed Wyllie says he has been approached by Silva about funding a study to look at unionizing the Summerville and Sonora High School Districts. As of this morning, the Foundation has not received a formal request to help fund the study, as Silva has recently been out town. Wyllie says he is limited in what he can say until the formal request for funding is made to the Foundation. Wyllie did indicate that it's likely that the initial study discussed, if funding is approved by the Foundation Board, would look at unionizing the two districts, and not the entire system.
Tuolumne County currently has 11 school districts and eight Superintendents. Their individual salaries range from $100,020 - $207,288.
Written by BJ Hansen