Carver-Scott co-op trying to keep head above water 10 Feb 12

The Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative, in debt and on the brink of closing at least one Alternative Learning Center, may be in better shape than some member districts thought.

The co-op consists of nine districts and could be at risk of dissolving if just one of the districts pulled out of the partnership. However, over the last month the co-op seems to have reestablished some stability thanks to some confirmation from its members to continue as the co-op moves forward with a 1 ½ year plan to get out of debt and climb out of a $1 million hole.

“I think we have the full support of that group,” Carver-Scott’s Executive Director Darren Kermes told the Chaska Herald.

“We have a tentative plan in place as to how to fund the core functions of the co-op for next year for each of the districts, we’re going to put numbers to it and come back to them at the end of the month.”

Additionally, a possible merger was discussed at the January 24th board meeting between a fiscally healthier Minnesota River Valley Special Education Cooperative (MRVSEC) and Carver-Scott. Such a merger could save money for member districts by reducing duplicative services.

A merger could save money for member districts by reducing duplicative services. Deb Pauly, Jordan School Board chairwoman and the district’s Carver-Scott representative, said there is a lot of overlap between the two co-ops. Pauly also added that getting Carver-Scott out of debt is a work in progress and won’t happen overnight.

While talks of a merger have been ongoing for the past few years, Kermes said those talks are a separate issue from Carver-Scott’s debt.