MOUNT VERNON — “It’s gloom and doom,” announced Richard McLarnan, president of the governing board of the Knox County Educational Service Center. He was speaking at Wednesday’s board meeting, referring to the information he received at the Ohio School Boards Association annual conference this week.
“We heard a lot about the state budget,” he said, “but nobody really knows what’s going to happen. The schools are looking at possible cuts of 10 percent to 15 percent [of current state funding.]”
As far as the ESC finances go, Treasurer Heather Darnold said the ESC is “still in a positive financial standing,” in spite of higher expenses in October and a slight decrease in income, also in October.
In addition to approving routine fiscal items, the board accepted a $3,000 donation from the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County for the “Play to Talk” conference.
Regarding personnel, the board advanced special education instructor Tasha Jamison on the salary schedule due to proof of years of service, retroactive to Oct. 11. It also approved Debra Burden as a van driver for the Fredericktown Local School district and added to both the substitute teacher and substitute teacher aide lists.
Following a discussion, the board approved an agreement with Virtual Community School for online instruction. Superintendent Timm Mackley said the online option will be used for students at the Alternative Center and could also be used by the other local school districts for students who need to make up credits or for flex-credit classes.