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Administrator: ESU services vital to smaller school districts across Nebraska

Administrator: ESU services vital to smaller school districts across Nebraska
Courtesy/ Legislature. George W. Norris Legislative Chamber (back view).

The new administrator for ESU 13 anticipates being among those on hand Friday as the Legislature’s Education Committee takes comment on LR 63, an interim study on Educational Service Units across the state.

Dr. Andrew Dick tells KNEB News the ESU system is especially important in rural areas, helping smaller school districts provide a number of state- and federally-mandated services. “By using ESU 13, they’re able to contract for services, such as a speech and language pathologist, or an occupational therapist, where they wouldn’t be able  to have the capacity within their budget to hire a full-time person,” says Dr. Dick. “ESU 13 can employ them, and then they contract for the services they need, whether that’s a half-day, one day a week, two days a week, or just on an hourly basis.”

Dr. Dick tells us ESU 13 is also unique compared to service units in other parts of the state, providing additional services and professional training that other ESUs may not need to offer, such as the VALTS program.

He also says the ESU can provide staffers with a deep understanding of learning, the impact of which can be tracked. In the 2018-19 school year, more than 4,300 students were served through various events and activities in the local area, and over 16,400 area educators received professional services through workshops and other training that Dr. Dick says shows the value of ESU’s.

Friday’s hearing in Lincoln starts at 7:30 a.m Mountain time.

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