Legislation to streamline Illinois' Regional Offices of Education has been approved by the Illinois House.
The bill increases the size of the service regions for each office from at least 43,000 to at least 61,000. It would reduce the number of offices from 44 down to 35. State Representative and former school superintendent Jerry Mitchell says keeping as many offices as possible in operation is important because they provide manyfunctions.
Current ROE service regions may be consolidated voluntarily by June 30th, with the new regions effective July 1st, 2015 to meet the new population requirements. It appears two regional offices in southern Illinois will be forced to consolidate under the plan. The Jefferson-Hamiliton County Education office and the regional office that serves Union, Johnson, Alexander, Pulaksi, and Massac Counties. If more than 35 ROE service regions exist by January 1st, 2014, the State Board of Education is required to direct further consolidation beginning with the region of lowest population, until the number of 35 regions is achieved.