Through coordinating the pooling of resources and acting in a cooperative manner, regional ESU's provide school districts the capacity to acquire services for staff and students that would otherwise create a significantly higher financial costs to individual school districts. This is particularly pronounced in the areas of special education and staff development. Both staff development and special education services are vital services to all school districts. As per IDEA, school districts of all sizes are mandated to provide special education services to their students. If small districts (class C & class D) were required to assume the sole responsibility for providing many of these special education services and hiring the corresponding personnel to provide these services, rather than acquiring them through a cooperative arrangement with ESU's, it would create a financial burden that smaller districts would be forced to pass on to their patrons. While professional development is not mandated by federal or state law, it is necessary to help ensure principals and teachers engage in the most effective educational practices and to help promote their professional growth. By providing these essential services, ESU's help meet the needs of all learners and help to create effective educators across the state in a cost effective manner for school districts and for those school districts' patrons.