LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Executive Director
After seeing the names of ESC school board candidates, we were curious to learn more about Educational Service Centers.
Way back in 1914, the State legislature established County Boards of Education to reorganize the then 2,674 school districts in the State. In 1995, the County Boards were renamed to Educational Service Centers.
Here are some interesting historical facts that explain the role of ESC’s in the State’s education system.
We decided to attend the Educational Service Center of the Western Reserve Board Meeting. They serve Lake and Geauga Counties. We wanted to see the Board in action. Here is a video of their Board Meeting held at the Auburn Career Center on 10/19/21.
We will be doing research into their financial statements once we gain access to that information. From our recent records request, we have learned that they do not refer to their monthly financial statements as “financial statements”, but rather as “reports”. They reserve the phrase “financial statements” for the year-end audited “reports”. We thank the CFO /Treasurer, Greg Slemons, for clarifying that for us.
We have also learned that ESC’s have no legal taxing or bonding authority. So you are not paying property taxes directly to the ESC of the Western Reserve. You are paying when your local school district pays ESC for any services that they provide to the school district.
They depend on revenues from member districts, from the state funding as prescribed in law, through contracted services to districts, and from competition for grants and state funding.
Here are there approved minutes from the Board meeting held Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Here is the agenda for the meeting held on October 19, 2021
We will update this article when we have the financial information on ESC of the Western Reserve, and any records requests that we may make to the local school districts in Lake and Geauga counties.
By the way, it really does not matter about your vote for the candidates for the ESC of the Western Reserve on the November 2nd ballot. They are all running unopposed.