The legislation requires regional superintendents to consolidate
offices by July 1, 2015, and requires each regional office to
represent 61,000 residents, as opposed to the current requirement of
The office reduction is expected to save the
state about $1.5 million.
Regional offices of education serve as liaisons between the
Illinois Legislature and local school districts. They handle such
duties as reviewing school construction projects, certifying bus
drivers, enforcing school safety laws, issuing and reviewing teacher
certificates, maintaining maps of school districts, monitoring
public schools during teacher strikes, disbursing state and federal
money to schools, and more.
The measure incorporates recommendations from the Streamlining
Illinois' Regional Offices of Education Commission, which was
convened to study the offices after Quinn last year zeroed out
funding for them in an attempt to save the state $12 million. He
said he wanted the regional superintendents to be funded at the
local level, not by the state.
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Lawmakers eventually restored funding using money from the
state's personal property replacement tax fund, which is money that
goes to local governments. Quinn signed off on the measure in
The consolidations have yet to be determined, Matt Vanover,
spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Education, said Monday.
The offices have a window to voluntarily consolidate; after that
ISBE can step in to assist and make sure the consolidations are
complete by 2015.
Statehouse News; By JAYETTE