ROEs to Consolidate

The state of Illinois is once again attempting to save money by passing a law which requires the Illinois State Board of Education to redraw the map of the state’s Regional Offices of Education. The purpose of these offices is to provide support and teacher training for various programs throughout the state. The new map will take the current 44 regions and merge them into 35.

The Marshall-Putnam-Woodford Office will be eliminated as Putnam and Marshall counties merge with LaSalle County. Woodford County has been assigned to the Tazewell-Mason County regional office.

As one of the nine smallest regions in Illinois, the Marshall-Putnam-Woodford County ROE was expected to align with other area regions so no region was smaller than 61,000 residents. The Illinois State Board of Education formally adopted the current plan during the last week of November.

“Despite the fact that over half of the superintendents currently leading these offices throughout the state have been in these positions for less than five years, they are a hard-working and highly-committed group of administrators who greatly value the best possible education for students of all ages in their regions,” current Marshall-Putnam-Woodford County ROE Superintendent Phyllis Glazier said. “It has been a joy and an honor working with the terrific schools in this region for the past year and a half. I can confirm that the schools in our area are committed to doing everything possible to see that our schools reach the highest possible standards.”

There will be new regional superintendents elected next year to run each of the new regional offices. Candidates for these new regional offices must file their petitions this month. These positions are often a target of state cutbacks, as legislatures have enacted legislation in the past with no funding for them.

Initially the Illinois State Legislature had ordered local county governments to design the mergers. However they also adopted a failsafe of having the Illinois State Board of Education take over if the counties could not reduce the number to the desired target of 35 regions. The goal was to create those regions with at least 61,000 people in each area.

Previously in March, the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools had given the state a proposal of their own map. However this map would have violated the law as it was written, so the plan was not adopted.

The realignment will take place before the 2015-16 school year.

Source: Putnam County Record