The Nebraska Educational Service Units (ESUs) are intermediate agencies providing supplementary educational services to school districts in Nebraska.
Educational Service Units were created by the Nebraska Legislature in 1965. Currently, there are 18 units, across the state serving school districts in multiple counties. Schools benefit from cooperative programs provided through the service units that can increase cost-effectiveness. The services and programs provided by ESUs have evolved over the years to meet the changing needs and requests of schools districts. The current statutes outlining the mission and roles of ESUs focuses on providing core services in the areas of staff development, technology, and instructional material services.
In general, the governing board of an ESU includes individuals elected from each of the counties within the boundaries of the service unit as well as members elected at large. However, the two largest school districts, Omaha Public Schools and Lincoln Public Schools, each have their own education service unit to provide services to the District. By statute, the board of Omaha Public Schools also services on the governing board of Educational Service Unit No.19, which services the Omaha Public School District.
ESUs may be supported by property taxes by contracts with local school district, by state core service funds and from outside reimbursements such as grants and service contracts.