MONTPELIER — The Montpelier Exempted Village Schools Board of Education approved a contract with the Northwest Educational Service Center (ESC) that is around $80,000 higher than expected.
The contract will be for $362,545.39, but Superintendent Jamison Grime said the actual cost fluctuates on a daily basis.
The ESC, he said, takes care of most of the district’s special education needs among other services, such as occupational therapy and preschool students who go to the Independence Education Center.
“It’s a lot of the things that we just couldn’t take up, here,” Grime said.
The reason for the increase is due to student attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grime said, for example, the Independence Education Center charges per child, so how much the school district pays for the service depends on how many students are enrolled.
“With COVID, kids are going to homeschool, they’re going online, they saw a decrease in enrollment,” he added. “It makes the average cost of every kid who goes out there increase.”
This is the cost for fiscal year 2021.
However, Grime said the $362,545.39 is unlikely to be the final cost, as the bill the district receives in January is always an estimate.
“Then mid-year they give us another estimate that’s closer to the actual bill and at the end of the year we’ll settle up,” he said. “This number changes every day because of our enrollment.”
Carla Rice, the district treasurer, said the budgetary estimates she makes are based on the enrollment in February of the previous year.
Overall, it’s around an increase of $80,000 that she “will have to find in the general fund,” to pay.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the girls wrestling team to attend the West Union High School Tournament on Jan. 29-30. Grime said this is the first state tournament with only girl wrestlers.
• Approved membership in the Ohio School Board Association’s Legal Assistance Fund Consultant Service for $250. This will be for one year of membership ending on Dec. 31.
• Entered an executive session to discuss personnel with no action expected.
• Approved annual membership dues of $4,734 and electronic subscription to School Management News for $150 with the OSBA. This membership will end on Dec. 31.
• Heard the county spelling bee will be held at Stryker this year on Jan. 27.