By ALLISON WOOD
MEDINA â€” The Medina County Schoolsâ€™ Educational Service Centerâ€™s budget will be cut by $100,000 for each of the next two years as part of statewide funding cuts.
Along with Medina, county educational service centers throughout the state also had their budgets slashed by 10 percent, Superintendent Will Koran said Wednesday. About one-fourth of the centerâ€™s budget comes from the state, while the rest comes from the school districts, he said.
The budget cuts will not affect current services provided to the countyâ€™s seven school districts because contracts for the 2008-09 school year already have been approved, Koran said. What will be affected, he said, is the educational service centerâ€™s ability to start new programs without the help of the school districts.
â€œWeâ€™ll have to apply to the districts for seed money for new programs,â€ he said. â€œYou have to have a big pocket of money.â€
The educational service center provides contract services to the districts such as hiring of personnel and programs for gifted and special education students.
One recent example was the creation of a preschool for handicapped children. The educational service center hired the teachers and paid rent for classroom space at the Medina County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
Koran said he is not yet sure how this will affect the creation of a new preschool for children with autism, which is expected to start classes next year.
The center must hire a classroom teacher, behavioral technicians who will work individually with students, purchase supplies and rent classroom space before classes can begin.
This school will be open to students from any of the countyâ€™s school districts.
Wood may be reached at 330-721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.