Goshen schools first to join County Education Alliance
Posted: 01/24/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Elkhart County commissioners on Monday approved an agreement to create the Elkhart County Education Alliance (ECEA) with the purpose of enhancing education in Elkhart County through several initiatives, including those recommended by the Horizon 2.0 committee.
County Commissioner Mike Yoder made a presentation during the Goshen School Board’s regular meeting Monday evening. The board then approved a memorandum of agreement in order to become a participant of the group.
The memo outlines that the ECEA will work together with local governments, other public and private schools, colleges, nonprofit organizations and the community to
develop “a highly skilled, 21st Century workforce in Elkhart County.”
They will do that by developing a plan with strategies to bring about Horizon 2.0’s aims for expanded early childhood education and an emphasis on college and career ready students, along with other initiatives to enhance educator effectiveness and adult education.
By signing the memo of agreement, a Goshen schools’ administrator will take a seat on the ECEA’s Board of Managers indefinitely, though the school corporation may withdraw at anytime.
The Alliance’s board will initially consist of one administrator from each school corporation that chooses to participate, four Elkhart County residents appointed by the Elkhart County Council and four Elkhart County residents appointed by the Elkhart County Commissioners. The memorandum also outlines that Elkhart County Government will “provide administrative leadership, record keeping, clerical assistance, and related services” until the establishment of funding for initiatives, when the board of managers may decide to pass those tasks to someone else.
Brian Smith, Horizon 2.0 committee chair, will be the first board president of the ECEA, Yoder told the school board.
Yoder also clarified the flexibility of the memo.
“No funds are being asked, no long term obligation; a school can leave at any time,” he wrote in a letter to the board. “All that is asked is a commitment to be at the table, to participate in discussions and decisions in a way that has never before been done.”
Yoder will be presenting the memorandum of agreement at the Middlebury School Board meeting this afternoon and the Elkhart School Board meeting this evening. As other Elkhart County school corporations show an interest and invite him, Yoder will present at other school board meetings, he said.