By Alex Haglund
Ron Daniels, superintendent of Regional Office of Education 13 (ROE 13), which encompasses Clinton, Jefferson, Marion and Washington Counties visited the Washington County Board meeting held on Tuesday, February 9 and announced that he would be shutting down two of ROE 13’s physical office locations, including Washington County’s, located in Nashville.
“I have been working to cut costs,” Daniels told the board, “we are in the process of closing two offices.”
With ROE 13 now expanded to include four counties and four offices, “the efficiency of running those offices is decreased,” Daniels said. He did add, “I am not cutting any positions.”
Daniels gave two more important reasons for this move: first, he stated that out of an annual budget of $85,000 for ROE 13, he has received nothing from the state. Second, he stated that walk-ins at the offices have decreased. In the past, teachers used to have to come in to renew their certificates. Now, they actually can’t do it that way, and must renew online.
“Is this a good a thing for our county?” county board chair David Meyer asked the board, “No. But it’s what is happening and it is happening. When it’s all said and done, we will still continue with our payment to them.”
The ROE office in Nashville will close at the end of February. The county pays the rent there, so that will no longer be a concern for the county.
Marion County’s Salem office will also be closed, leaving the offices that remain open to be located in Carlyle, Clinton County, and Mt. Vernon, Jefferson County.
“The option or the goal,” Daniels said, “might be to just have one office for all four counties.”
“This has not been an easy decision for us,” Daniels concluded, “but I guarantee that we will continue to provide services to everyone in the county.”