Regional Office of Education

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There is now just one candidate in the election for a newly created office in west central Illinois.

www.mcilwainbus.net

With school getting underway, drivers are being encouraged to be on the look-out for students.

Rich Egger

The Illinois State Board of Education will take care of a task that was supposed to be handled at the local level.

The county boards in Fulton, Schuyler, Hancock, and McDonough Counties have all approved the merger of the Fulton-Schuyler and Hancock-McDonough Regional Offices of Education.

Hancock-McDonough Regional Superintendent John Meixner said the resolutions will be sent to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which will officially create the new region.

The state pushed for the consolidation of some regional offices to cut costs. Meixner believed the savings will be minimal, but he said this merger should work well for the region.

The embattled Regional Offices of Education in Illinois will be consolidated under a measure (SB 2706) headed to the governor's desk.

Nearly a quarter of the state's 44 offices would be cut. Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) said it's remarkable that the superintendents cooperated with lawmakers to come up with a reduction plan.

Illinois' regional school superintendents are backing legislation (SB 2706) that would eliminate nearly a quarter of their 44 offices.

The proposal is not likely to satisfy critics who say the positions are not necessary and that the offices should have their functions taken over by local school districts.

Regional Offices of Education oversee teacher certification, GED programs, and truancy cases.

Warren County has sold the stately two-story home that has housed the Regional Office of Education for years. The house sits right across the street from the county courthouse.  The regional office serves Warren, Mercer and Henderson counties.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church has purchased the building from the county for $74,000.

County Board Chairman Bill Reichow said the office will stay put for the short-term.

Illinois lawmakers hope a report on the future of the Regional Offices of Education can be completed sooner rather than later.

A commission has been formed to complete the study. Its members were originally asked to submit recommendations by August.

But that would be too late for the next state budget because Illinois' fiscal year begins July 1.