Several of our previous editions of Financial Facts have highlighted the importance of non-tax revenue for Mentor Schools and our continued commitment to bring these alternative revenues to the district to benefit our students and taxpayers. The pie-graph attached in Financial Facts 19 shows that the Lake County ESC Grant Funding currently being withheld from Mentor Public Schools is a significant portion of our total yearly non-tax revenue. The lawsuit aims to get the subsidy funds that will amount to $476,000 back in our district to be spent in our schools, providing a high quality education for our students.
Last week, Mentor Schools filed the lawsuit in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas against the Lake County Educational Service Center (ESC) to recoup $476,000 in State subsidy funding that is being illegally withheld from the District.
As required by law, Mentor Public Schools entered into a service agreement with Lake County ESC, which automatically renews every two years and can only be terminated by the District, according to Ohio Revised Code. In order to offset the cost of the services provided to Mentor Public Schools under the agreement, Lake County ESC receives a State subsidy that is allocated based on Mentor Schools’ student enrollment.
The Lake County ESC unlawfully terminated Mentor Public Schools service agreement on July 1, 2013, yet continued to collect the State subsidy . The ESC has been using those funds to pay for its own operating expenses instead of services for Mentor Schools in violation of State law and the terms of the service agreement.
Our understanding of state law and the long standing practice of the ESC is that the State subsidy that is given to the ESC based on Mentor’s student enrollment is intended to benefit our students. Thank you for your continued support of Mentor Public Schools.