The Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center is bracing for what could mean drastic cuts to its funding.
Under the Governor Kasich’s biennium budget Superintendent David Branch said their funding will go from $1.8 billion to $640,000 a 66 percent drop.
Currently, the ESC helps provide a variety of services like psychologists, occupational therapists and pre-school classrooms to school districts in five counties. Funding cuts mean a higher cost to districts and cuts to services.
"If we lose our funding in pre schools and they don’t get as much as what they lost then the cost of those school districts is going to go up," explained Branch. "Which in essence means if they receive no additional funding and their costs go up in essence they’ve received a reduction."
The ESC runs 27 pre school classrooms. After a meeting with state officials Branch said he found out that 80 to 85 percent of rural and poor rural school districts saw no funding increases under the new budget, while only 48 percent of suburban and wealthy suburban school districts saw cuts.
"Until you know how much it really costs and you cost out the program for educating a child that’s in first, second, third grade and so on you really don’t have a good number that’s the starting base to put some add ons into and that’s never been done and that defies logic," said Branch.
On Tuesday, three area Superintendents will speak before state lawmakers on school funding. They include Northern Local’s Tom Perkins, Lori Snider-Lowe from Morgan and Mark Neal of Tri-Valley.
We’ll have more on the school funding debate on the WHIZ News.