(A) The educational regional service system is hereby established. The system shall support state and regional education initiatives and efforts to improve school effectiveness and student achievement. Services, including special education and related services, shall be provided under the system to school districts, community schools established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, and chartered nonpublic schools.
It is the intent of the general assembly that the educational regional service system reduce the unnecessary duplication of programs and services and provide for a more streamlined and efficient delivery of educational services without reducing the availability of the services needed by school districts and schools.
(B) The educational regional service system shall consist of the following:
(2) A fiscal agent for each of the regions as configured under section 3312.02 of the Revised Code;
(3) Educational service centers, information technology centers established under section 3301.075 of the Revised Code, and other regional education service providers.
(C) Educational service centers shall provide the services that they are specifically required to provide by the Revised Code and may enter into agreements pursuant to section 3313.843, 3313.844, or 3313.845 of the Revised Code for the provision of other services, which may include any of the following:
(1) Assistance in improving student performance;
(2) Services to enable a school district or school to operate more efficiently or economically;
(3) Professional development for teachers or administrators;
(4) Assistance in the recruitment and retention of teachers and administrators;
(5) Applying for any state or federal grant on behalf of a school district;
(6) Any other educational, administrative, or operational services.
In addition to implementing state and regional education initiatives and school improvement efforts under the educational regional service system, educational service centers shall implement state or federally funded initiatives assigned to the service centers by the general assembly or the department of education.
Any educational service center selected to be a fiscal agent for its region pursuant to section 3312.07 of the Revised Code shall continue to operate as an educational service center for the part of the region that comprises its territory.
(D) An educational service center shall be considered a school district for the purposes of eligibility in applying for any state or federal grant.
(E) Information technology centers may enter into agreements for the provision of services pursuant to section 3312.10 of the Revised Code.
(F) No school district, community school, or chartered nonpublic school shall be required to purchase services from an educational service center or information technology center in the region in which the district or school is located, except that a local school district shall receive any services required by the Revised Code to be provided by an educational service center to the local school districts in its territory from the educational service center in whose territory the district is located.