Consolidation of education bureaucracy on hold

2013-07-15T00:00:00Z Consolidation of education bureaucracy on holdKurt Erickson Lee Springfield Bureau
July 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SPRINGFIELD | The state’s regional school superintendents have fallen short in their bid to come up with a plan to reduce their numbers from 44 to 35.

After nearly a year of talks, the superintendents said not every county affected by the consolidation efforts signed off on a redistricting proposal. That means state education regulators will now get a shot at the job.

Under legislation approved last year, each regional office will be required by July 2015 to represent at least 61,000 residents compared to the current requirement of 43,000.

The downsizing push came in response to a proposal by Gov. Pat Quinn to eliminate the offices. He said they were an unneeded layer of bureaucracy.

Matt Donkin, regional superintendent for the Franklin-Williamson counties regional office, said the group overseeing the consolidation process forwarded a copy of a proposed map to the Illinois State Board of Education.

“A whole lot of work got done across the state,” Donkin said. “There are a lot of moving parts.”

It remains unclear if the state Board of Education will use the advisory map or if the board plans to start from scratch.

“We will be reviewing what has occurred,” said state board spokesman Matt Vanover.

Madison County Regional Superintendent Bob Daiber said he is hopeful the state will use the advisory map devised by his organization.

“It still could happen,” Daiber said.

Vanover said analysts are expected to come up with a recommendation for the board by January with an eye on launching the revamped districts by June 2015.

The effort is expected to save the state $1.5 million.

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