In the case of Mentor Exempted Village School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Lake Cty. Educational Serv. Ctr. Governing Bd., 2016-Ohio-7649, a school board sought a court order declaring all state subsidy payments – based on an aligned school district’s enrollment numbers – paid by the Ohio Department of Education (“ODE”) to the ESC belongs to the school districts and not the ESC. The school board alleged that the “state operating subsidy” paid by ODE to the ESC must be used solely by the ESC to pay for and offset the services that ESCs provide to aligned school districts and could not be used for any other purpose.
This case had state-wide implications for the entire ESC financing structure as a ruling in favor of the school board would have had a decisive financial impact on all ESC throughout Ohio. McGown & Markling represented the Lake County ESC in this case, and successfully obtained summary judgment and an appellate ruling in favor of the Lake County ESC. The appellate court explicitly found that the state subsidies are intended solely to support the ESC’s basic operations and pay for its statutorily mandated services and not to pay for and/or offset services to aligned school districts.
To read our blog on this case, please click here.