CGR to Assess Feasibility of Merging 4 Ohio Educational Service Centers with Combined Budget of $20 Million

Four Educational Service Centers (ESCs) serving 5 counties in Ohio’s west central region have engaged CGR to assess the feasibility of merger to reduce costs and improve offerings to school districts and potentially local governments.

Champaign Urbana, OH, June 14, 2013 --( Four Educational Service Centers (ESCs), which have a combined budget of approximately $20 million, have engaged CGR to assess whether a merger will reduce operational costs and improve their capacity to support their largely rural communities in Ohio’s West Central region. The ESCs serve Shelby, Logan, Hardin, Madison and Champaign counties, with the latter two served by one center.

ESCs in Ohio currently serve member school districts by providing both specialized and support services, ranging from academic offerings for students with special needs to financial administration and benefits management. Recently ESCs have been permitted – and are now being encouraged – by the State of Ohio to provide shared services to local governments as well as schools.

The four ESCs, with Shelby County ESC as lead, specifically engaged CGR to explore creation of a West Central Educational, Training, and Business Development Center and determine what such a center could achieve and at what cost. CGR will:
· Assess current and potential future market penetration for the proposed center, using a “best in class” approach based on profiling top-performing Ohio ESCs;
· Assess costs and estimate potential savings of full merger at a single location, and also of other organizational, programmatic and multi-site approaches;
· Identify what programmatic options are viable for the proposed West Central center;
· Determine size and staffing configurations for major ESC programs and services;
· Explore the potential benefits of providing services to local governments; and
· Be involved in public engagement efforts initiated by the ESCs.

CGR’s final deliverable will be an overall assessment of the benefits and costs of three alternatives: a) status quo; b) a corporate merger with a single shared facility; and c) a corporate merger that retains some or the entire current facility footprint.

CGR expects to complete the project in December 2013.

About CGR: The Center for Governmental Research is a leading provider of strategic management consulting to municipal, educational and nonprofit sector clients. The 98-year old nonprofit organization specializes in the areas of government management, economics & public finance, education, and health & human services.
Center for Governmental Research
Vicki Brown