Educational Service Center of Central Ohio
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The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESC) works with more than 25 school districts throughout Central Ohio, and its services vary with the needs and goals of each partner or agency. Its mission is to accelerate the missions of its member school districts and helps students achieve more through research-based programs and services.
The Ohio General Assembly created educational service centers in 1914 as county boards of education. State law changed boards of education to educational service centers in 1995. The Delaware and Union county ESCs merged in 1993. The educational service centers serving Delaware, Franklin and Union counties merged Jan. 1, 2009.
The ESC of Central Ohio serves 25 area school districts with a total enrollment of about 205,000 students (one in 10 children in the state). The provided services vary with the needs and goals of each partner district or agency. The agency totals approximately 1,000 employees.
The ESC of Central Ohio is directed by an elected governing board. Since educational service centers have no legal taxing or bonding authority, they must depend on revenues from member districts, from the state as prescribed in law, through contracted services to districts, and from competition for grants and state funding. State funding to ESCs consists of two major categories: unit funding for gifted and preschool handicapped units and a per pupil allocation.
The ESC leverages resources and coordinates programming from a variety of sources to help districts meet their needs. Funding comes from $3.7 million in state subsidy aid with school district-elected services totaling $46 million and an additional $31 million in competitive grants. So each $1 of state subsidy yields $9 in grants and districts are able to choose $12 in needs-based local services.
The ESC of Central Ohio has led the initiative for educational service centers to provide accountability. It was the first agency in the state to receive full accreditation from AdvancED.
The work of the ESC of Central Ohio
The ESC of Central Ohio accelerates the missions[clarification needed] of school districts in Delaware, Franklin and Union counties, serving more than 200,000 school children in 25 school districts.
Through direct instruction and quality professional development, the agency partners with districts to improve education for all students, particularly those with special needs. The ESCCO offers robust educational consultancy through a growing list of programs including instructional coaching, administrative counseling, professional employment services and business services.