Nathan Marshall and son

Nathan Marshall, a student in the Educational Leadership and Foundations doctoral program, recently presented to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee during the most recent congressional session. Marshall’s presentation focused on funding for a Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) in northern Utah. 

“These centers are crucial in providing shared resources to districts who, without a centralized center of shared resources, would be unable to provide the same level of services as larger districts,” Marshall said.  

The presentation contained a budget proposal of $1.5 million to provide resources for procurement, special education, IT, professional development, behavior resources, and other startup costs. The centers provide resources to support schools in rural areas and smaller districts who do not have the same resources as larger areas. Marshall said the experience of presenting to the subcommittee was “enlightening.” 

“I was able to see how the Senate and House of Representatives work together to determine educational resource and financial allocation decisions,” he said. 

To prepare for his presentation, Marshall first went to Heber City to meet with those in charge of the RESA center there. He was able to better understand how the center worked, what staffing, budgeting, and resource needs they had, and what was provided to them by the state. He then met with representatives from some of the districts along the Wasatch Front to gauge their interest in having a RESA center. 

“After speaking with them about the proposed center, I put together a prospectus for a Northern Utah Resource Center outlining the needs, possible staffing, facilities, resources, and a generalized budget to present to the State,” he said. 

From there, he worked with Senator Lincoln Filmore to present to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee. After his meeting with the subcommittee, his project was fully funded.  

Moving forward, Marshall plans to work with local districts in northern Utah to gain support and staff for a new RESA center.  

“Although the funding was fully recognized, I now plan to meet with directors to put together a formal proposal to the Utah State Board of Education,” he said. “My hope is that with the other school directors and support from the USBE earmarking these funds as a priority, we will see a new RESA recognized along the Wasatch Front where smaller districts and charters can enjoy the same level of resources as the bigger districts.”