ESC reports on school funding, transportation

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — During the most recent Preble County Educational Service Center (ESC) Board of Education meeting, held Wednesday, March 27, Superintendent Mike Gray shared information regarding ESC state financing and transportation.

Gray shared information from the Fair School Funding Plan whicg has recently been proposed in the State of Ohio. Ohio Representatives Bob Cupp and John Patterson have been working with Ohio educators and finance officers for the past 15 months to co-sponsor a “comprehensive and transparent” school funding proposal.

“[Looking] at the Educational Service Center, right now we get $26 per student. Next year we are looking at $26.50 and the following year we’re looking at $27. That is better than not having any,” Gray said.

He also discussed transportation, which Gray says will affect the Preble County ESC.

“What they want to implement, is the State Bus Purchase Proposal, providing $50,000 grants per bus purchase, reaching a total appropriation of $30 million per year in FY23 and thereafter. So, we’re a little ways off on that,” he said.

“State share funding for transportation has been dropped from 60 percent minimum state share in 2015 to 50 percent to 37.5 percent to 25 percent. So you’re wondering why school districts can’t buy new buses — right there is why. All of our buses are getting older.”

Assistant Superintendent Shawn Hoff added, they have buses upward of almost 300,000 miles. Their last bus purchase was in 2006.

In other news:

•Board member Kevin Johnston was recently recognized for 15 years of achievement.

•Board members Johnston and Peggy Crabtree are working on choosing scholarship winners.

•Hoff informed the board he had helped create a common application for ESC scholarships, so students can apply for all scholarships on one application.

The Preble County Educational Service Center will meet for their next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH