It was good that the Community Schools Ownership Initiative (CSOI) and the Warren County School Board could sit down together and politely disagree about math.
And when it was all over, the outcome was basically that the two groups agreed to disagree about just how much more, if any, the creation of a charter school for grades 6-12 in the northern attendance area will cost Warren County taxpayers.
If you were left feeling underwhelmed by the outcome, you were not alone.
Add to that a sense of wonder at the reason for the meeting in the first place, since financial considerations cannot be used as either a reason to approve or deny a charter application, an exercise the board plans to undertake on April 9. So, in essence, what Monday's parley really amounted to was an additional lobbying session in which the CSOI attempted to convince a majority of the board to approve its application by erasing that subliminal worry about how much the thing is going to cost.
Although the CSOI has vowed to appeal a negative vote by the board to a higher authority (the state Department of Education), it would much rather not have to take that step.
The meeting was cordial and proof that the two bodies can sit down and discuss things in an adult manner.
However, if the school board wants to take legal advice from anyone other than its solicitor, operational advice from anyone other than its superintendent, and financial advice from anyone but its business manager, then the board has the wrong people in place. Those people are paid to look after the best interests of the Warren County School District, just as the CSOI is going to look out for its own interests.
Make no mistake, this school district and the charter are in a competitive situation, just as virtually any public, private, and charter school systems are. If there was no impetus to be separate, they would be one.