Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Educational Service Agencies
William G. Keane & E. Robert Stephens
Probably the least visible, studied, and understood component of the K–12 educational system are educational service agencies (ESAs). This term refers to the middle echelon component of the education delivery system (between the state department/state board of education and the local school district). ESAs were defined by E. Robert Stephens in 2001 as “a regional public elementary-secondary education agency authorized by state statute or administrative code to provide instructional support and management and planning programs and services to local education agencies.” A recent national study of service agencies that included responses from 20% of the surveyed ESAs (142 agencies) showed that they spent over $3.5 billion directly in support of education, managed $17 billion of flow-through money from the federal and state governments, and trained over 1.1 million staff members in the 2001–2002 academic year. ESAs are known by different names in different states, so it is understandable that there ...