MOUNT VERNON — Like other educational entities in the state, the Knox County Educational Service Center is feeling the budget pinch. At its board meeting on Monday, Treasurer Heather Darnold said the ESC was $12,000 short of meeting this week’s payroll obligations. Money from the savings account was used to make up the shortfall.
Darnold told the News on Thursday the board members are concerned about ending the fiscal year in the red. The ESC took a 10 percent hit in state funding this year — a decrease of $109,000 — and will take another 15 percent hit next year. Also, Darnold said, grant funds continue to be reduced. For example, the 21st-century grant for enrichment activities was reduced by $100,000.
“We are basically down to bare bones,” Darnold said. “We have to generate more revenue, and can’t depend on the local schools which are also in a financial crunch.”
Since the ESC is not permitted by law to place a levy before the voters, Darnold said it is exploring the possibility of marketing its services to other entities, such as nursing homes and the Department of Developmental Disabilities.