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Revised school plan favored by local legislators

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[MAY 14, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, is encouraged by the governor's second attempt to reform education in Illinois. The plan marks a compromise that no longer creates a new Department of Education but still provides for major reform of the current State Board of Education.

"This plan is a compromise to bring accountability and reform to education in Illinois," said Bomke. "At first glance, this seems to be a much better plan than the one offered in February, but I will withhold final judgment until I hear more from my local schools."

On the administrative level, the plan replaces the members of the current State Board of Education and gives the governor the opportunity to replace them if they do not produce results. The reforms also call for line-item budgeting for the board, cost-saving measures to reduce administrative costs, the option of state oversight for construction projects and a plan to reduce the number of mandates imposed on local school districts.

 

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"My number one concern with this plan is the impact on local schools," said Bomke. "This plan offers many reform ideas, but I need to hear from local administrators and teachers about the impact this will have on classroom education. I will not support any plan that negatively affects the quality of education in our local schools."

[Illinois Senate Republican Caucus
news release]

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