The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 7, 2013

Betsy Franklin hire will save Ashtabula and Conneaut school districts money

By PAMELA E. GRAN - For the Star Beacon
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Betsy Franklin has a long history with the Ashtabula Area City School District. A recent change in job assignment will not only save that district money, but will be financially beneficial for Conneaut Area City Schools and the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center, as well.

Franklin became an ESC employee in early January and is now serving as the Education Management Information System (EMIS) coordinator for Ashtabula and Conneaut school districts. In addition, she ensures EMIS data gets reported for students at Building Bridges School, a program of the ESC.

By having Franklin employed through the ESC, the city districts can share the cost of her services, therefore easing the strain on their individual budgets, said John Rubesich, ESC Superintendent.

EMIS coordinators see that all data related to buildings, grounds, students and staff is collected, Franklin explained.

“This includes demographics, grades, ethnicity, residence, testing, special education and subjects being studied,” Franklin said.

This information gathering is vital to school districts because it directly impacts how much federal, state and local funding districts receive, she added.

Student attendance is particularly important to the formula for calculating money distributed to districts. “If a student is absent and it’s unauthorized, the district doesn’t get paid for that student,” Franklin said, noting that keeping accurate attendance during October count week is critical.

Districts receive nearly $5,800 per student from various avenues of funding. For each unauthorized absence, money is deducted from that amount.

The position of EMIS coordinator is mandated by legislation. Franklin served in this capacity since 1991 solely for the Ashtabula Area City Schools before expanding her responsibilities earlier this year.

Collected data is reported to the region’s information technology center, Northeast Ohio Management Information Network (NEOMIN). Franklin explained that reports are generated and sent to all coordinators. Any inconsistencies are noted and must be corrected until there are no discrepancies, she said.

Franklin is responsible for maintaining the data on 4,000 students, plus administrators and all staff in the two districts she oversees. Each year new EMIS categories are added and she must ensure that all information is gathered and disseminated correctly.

“It all boils down to dollars,” Franklin said.

Coordinators attend monthly meetings set up by the Ohio Department of Education as part of their ongoing professional development.

“This way we make sure all coordinators are up on all the current rules,” Franklin said.

Franklin is a founding member of the Ohio Association of EMIS Professionals, created in 2001. The association has more than 600 members statewide.

Originally from Ashtabula, Franklin graduated from the former Harbor High School and Kent State University-Ashtabula Campus. Her husband, Michael, is Ashtabula City Solicitor. The couple has two grown children, Gregg  (Lindsay) Zannelli and Suzanne (Mel) Hanna. They also have four grandchildren, Obi, Luke, Jacob, and Zachary.