BEDFORD — EDCO Collaborative Interim Executive Director Cyndy Taymore wishes to provide the following statement regarding the status of the organization:
“The EDCO Collaborative has informed its 16 member districts that it has voted to dissolve the Collaborative by mid-2022 due to insurmountable financial barriers. The board voted to initiate dissolution on Feb. 10.
“For 50 years EDCO has served primarily as a professional development organization, offering a wide range of professional learning opportunities for educators in its member districts. These include networking and collaboration opportunities, diverse courses covering such topics as multicultural education, the inclusion of students with disabilities, ways to address the academic achievement gap, engaging students through remote education and much more.
“EDCO also provides special education and alternative education programs for students with disabilities and at-risk youth, and services paid for through a variety of state and federally funded programs.
“The move toward dissolution is the result of myriad complex factors, including increasingly challenging financial conditions brought on by the growing costs of maintaining our operations, as well as decreased enrollment in professional development and academic programming.
“Steps have been taken to reduce costs, such as running at reduced staffing levels, but this has simply not been enough. The COVID-19 pandemic, while by no means the catalyst for EDCO’s financial hardship, has created additional challenges that ultimately cannot be overcome.
“Upon the dissolution of EDCO, districts have been informed, as per the governing documents of the organization, that any outstanding debts will pass proportionally to each member district, as well as former member districts. There are a number of issues that must first be fully understood and resolved before the final cost of dissolving the collaborative can be determined.
“We are committed to transparency in keeping all of our stakeholders, including districts and the communities they serve, informed as we navigate this process. Between now and March 30, as required by the collaborative’s bylaws, member districts’ school committees will vote on the proposed dissolution.”