Southwest Educational Center Partnerships
Since its inception in 1968 the Southwest Educational Development Center’s primary goal has been to establish, promote, and expand positive partnerships with a diverse spectrum of organizations to ensure that equal, equitable educational opportunities are made available to the districts and schools we serve. To meet the changing needs of students and teachers in promoting achievement and providing economy and efficiency in the cooperative delivery of educational services to our member schools SEDC is at every opportunity building engaging relationships with organizations who will work with us in a team effort to implement research-proven, curriculum driven trainings, grants and educational programs to rural schools.
The Southwest Educational Development Center’s proactive partnerships with the Utah State Office of Education, Utah Educational Network, Utah School Board’s Association, Utah School Superintendents Association, Utah Rural School’s Association, Southern Utah University, the Utah Legislature and the school districts and charter schools we serve is essential to successfully providing productive, educational equity to small rural districts. We place great value and emphasis on building and nuturing each partnership we establish in crystalizing our vision and mission in helping meet the very unique, special challenges faced in rural school districts. The partnerships we have are non-inclusive, as we continually seek organizations who will help us fulfill our educational mission.
Utah’s Regional Service Centers
Utah has established four Regional Service Centers to assist school districts & charter schools in providing equitable and cost effective services and programs for students in rural Utah. In addition to the Southwest Educational Service Center (SEDC), these service centers include Southeast Education Service Center (SESC) , Northeastern Utah Educational Services (NUES) and Central Utah Educational Services (CUES) .
SEDC is a not-for-profit service center that supports the six public education school districts and several charter schools in Southwest Utah and exists to provide services needed and requested by the schools, districts and charters served.
Utah Educational Development Service Centers
SEDC, CUES, SESC, NUES
Statutory Origin: Senate Bill 3 Substitute 1 1969. We were created in 1969 by a line item added to the minimum school program. The Senate created us after a successful pilot program funded by Federal grant money. In 2001 our line item was moved from the minimum school program to the USOE budget. Regional Service Centers were inadvertently removed from State Code at that time. In 2011 Rep. Last ran and passed House Bill HB 92 Substitute 1 “Public Education Regional Service Centers.” That bill put us back into state code and required that we create an interlocal agreement between the districts we represent and submit an annual report to USOE.
Structure: The 26 rural school districts are organized into four service regions. See the map above. Each regional service center is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the District Superintendents and Charter Schools in their region. Each center has an Executive Director, an Administrative Assistant, a Network Engineer and Technology Trainer. Other positions have been added in each region depending on the needs of the school districts within each region.
Purpose: Utah’s four Regional Service Centers were established to assist school districts in providing equitable and cost-effective services and programs for students in rural Utah to match those offered to students on Utah’s urban Wasatch-front. Basically, we were created to save districts money by pooling purchases and services to build economies of scale for small school districts.
Geographic Scope: See the map above. The total square mileage that these Regional Service Centers cover (65,478 mi2) is nearly the same size as Wisconsin, the 23rd largest state in the USA. SEDC’s total area is 24,468 mi2, which is by itself larger than the state of West Virginia at 24,038 mi2. At one time Tooele, Logan, Box Elder and Cache were part of the NUES region. Wendover and Dugway still participate in the NUES Sterling Scholar region competition.
Legislative: The four Service Centers are also part of an organization called Utah Rural Schools Association (URSA) which organizes the Thursday afternoon meetings on the hill during the session. Each service center plans an annual dinner and business meeting with legislators to discuss items related to education.
Educational Services Provided by Regional Service Centers to Rural School Districts in Utah:
- Technical Support (2 UEN Funded Positions) – Coordinator, Trainer, Network Engineer
- Support, Updates and Maintenance of District Servers (onsite at the Regional Service Centers including emergency generators)
- Leveraging of E-Rate dollars through Application Compliance Support
- Reading Specialist
- Grant Writing, Grant Administration, Grant Support
- Math Specialist
- Data Assessment Mentor/Summative & Formative Data Analysis
- Autism Specialist
- Warehousing/District Purchasing
- Grant Application Support
- Special Education
- Computer Repair
- Media Delivery, Duplication
- Printing Services
- Curriculum Mapping
- Alternative Endorsement Programs/Teacher Recruitment
- Distance Education Hubs/Online Meetings/Classes
- Professional Staff Development Training
- Coordinate State Rual Schools Conference
- Coordinate Administrative Training Conferences, State Autism Conference, and numerous others
- Coordination of Sterling Scholar Program
- Driver’s License Programs
- Link between small districts and State Educational Agencies
- Legislative Liason for School Distric
Strengths of Maintaining Current Organizational Structure
- Ability to provide critical educational and technical support to 26 rural Districts covering a huge geographical area. (Rural School Districts don’t have instant access to USOE or UEN services as does the Wasatch Front)
- Local Control focused on Needs assessments of Rural Districts
- Ability to provide equitable educational opportunities to students and educators in rural school districts
- Cost Effective Programs/Services that small districts can’t affort
- Governed and evaluated by Rural Executive Board Members who know and understand their needs. (Some Executive Boards include members of State Board and Higher Ed.)
- Geographical Distances and Accessibility
- Offices/Building ownership. Located in rural central locations. Financial savings since buildings are paid for and free of debt.
- Fixed Assets owned by school districts – cars, computers, servers, etc.
- Annual Audits testing general compliance requirements identified in Audits of Local governments in Utah
- Accounting – Strength of Double Check and Balance system through our District Fiscal Agent and Independent Auditor
- Involvement of State School Board Members on Regional Service Center Boards
- Ability to operate around the red tape of a larger bureaucracy more efficiently. Time sensitive.
- Housing and maintenance of Rural District Technical Networks is critical when you live in rural Utah.
- The service centers run joint programs like the Utah Rural Schools Conference, various grants and technology purchases.