Financial matters topic of discussion for ESC board

LISBON — With the Ohio Department of Education starting to roll out recommendations toward the next state budget, members of the county Education Service Center board and Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn discussed some of their concerns.

Vaughn said it appears the ODE would like to see more funding to help schools provide more support for students in need of mental health counseling, mentoring and other support services. Additionally, the ODE is recommending more funding for early childhood education for economically disadvantaged students to enroll in high-quality preschools, along with funding for literacy education to help prepare students to meet the third grade reading guarantee.

However, Vaughn said right now it appears the state is not increasing foundation funding and the funding for ESCs seems to be the same.

One board member, Heather Mercer, said she was concerned it appeared there was less money being suggested for math and sciences.

Vaughn noted in some cases funding has been moved from one place in the suggested budget to another. Some funds for various programs disappear all together with a new governor taking office while new programs take their place.

“I think we will see a lot of changes this year,” Vaughn said.

In other matters

— The Reach for the Stars store on East State Street, Salem, will be hosting a Spa Day from 1 to 4 p.m., April 13. Advanced tickets, a $20 donation, are available at the Reach for the Stars store and at the county ESC in Lisbon. The ticket includes a voucher for a glass of wine at Liebe Wein, another business on East State Street. Tickets the day of the event are $25. Proceeds benefit the transition program for students with disabilities.

— The board accepted several donations for the Sharon Trotter-Keyes Scholarship Fund — Judy Dunn, $25; Judy Bryan, $25; East Liverpool Christian School, $100; Jim and Norma Trotter, Mike and Jennifer Trotter, David and Jessica Trotter, $100; Dorothy Pike, Roxie and John Trenkelbach, Marty and Penny Pike, $75; Catherine Trotter Kostetsky and Nicholas Kostetsky, $50.

— The board approved the creation of a literacy consultant position as part of the Striving Readers Grant.

— The board approved the retirements of Carol Straub, consultant, and Karen Rhodes, preschool intervention specialist. Additionally, the board accepted the resignations of April Boals, Melissa Crowl and Terri Hulett, all three para educators; as well as Kirsten Frost, LPN Robert Bycroft.

— The board hired Richard Haught II, mechanic assistant, and six para educators — Pamela Bricker, Kylie Crowl, Carrie A. Huff, Crystal Kelly, Tracy Kozar and Lindsey Potts.

— The next meeting of the ESC will be at 4:30 p.m., April 16.