The athletic co-op between A-C Central and PORTA school districts will continue, despite a defeated effort to consolidate the two districts this week.
That’s according to PORTA Superintendent Matt Brue, who notes PORTA and A-C are in the final year of a four-year agreement. He says come October or November, preparations will probably start being made to renew that contract.
“Our board, we’ve talked about this in preparation, and we don’t have any ill will towards students or athletes that come from A-C,” says Brue. “We enjoy having them in our programs, and I don’t see that we wouldn’t want to offer that in the future.”
Brue says his board of education has not indicated a desire to end the co-op recently, but he admits things were different last year.
“There was a lot of talk about ending the co-op at that time just because there was a lot of things being said [by people from A-C] about PORTA school district and our board was upset with that,” says Brue. “We got over that as a board; we understand that things happen in political situations, and in the long run, everybody understands that what’s good for kids is good for kids.”
A-C Central Superintendent Tim Page says his district is “very interested” in continuing the co-op.
“I know that my school board would like to see if A-C could become independent and host any of their own sports in the long run, but currently, we have no plans to change any of our co-op intentions with PORTA that I know of,” says Page.
A-C parents at an informational meeting for the proposed consolidation earlier this month, in addition to coaches, indicated that there would be difficulty in the high school participating in athletic events solo. Page acknowledges that the numbers are against A-C in that regard.
As for the next move in consolidation, Brue says PORTA is focusing on a classroom co-op with Athens and Greenview. Page indicates A-C wants to keep things status quo.
“We can’t sit around waiting for things to happen. We’d like to keep our options open with A-C. We still think they’re a great fit for our district and with our kids, and we have a good relationship with families there and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that,” Brue explains.
“We look forward to just being A-C. We’d like to move forward and just focus on the job that we’re doing within our own school district and educating kids and preparing them for the future and not being distracted with possible consolidations or mergers, as that’s really not on our agenda right now,” says Page.
The two schools currently co-op in all high school athletics and most junior high sports.
PORTA voters approved this week’s referendum, but the measure needed to pass in both school districts.