SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois will trim the number of regional superintendent offices and high schools will look at beefing up math for students. Gov. Pat Quinn signed four education bills Monday, including one that cuts superintendent offices from 44 to 35.
SPRINGFIELD -- The number of regional school superintendents in Illinois will drop from 44 to 35 by 2015 under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Senate Bill 2706 raises the minimum population requirement for a regional office of education from 43,000 people to 61,000. Education service regions smaller than that will be eliminated.
Reducing the number of regional superintendents is expected to save about $1.5 million in salaries.
The Sangamon County service region meets the new population requirement, but the regional office covering Logan, Mason and Menard counties does not.
Under the law, regions have until June 2013 to voluntarily consolidate with other regional offices to meet the new population requirements. If voluntary consolidations don’t reduce the number of regional offices of education to 35, the Illinois State Board of Education can order further consolidations.
Quinn last year eliminated money to pay regional superintendent salaries from the state budget. He said regional school superintendents are local officials and should be paid with local funds.
State lawmakers struck a deal to pay regional superintendents this year from personal property replacement tax money that is shared by hundreds of local governments. It also agreed to a commission that would examine the future of regional offices of education.
The commission recommended the reduction in regional offices, but also that regional superintendents be paid out of the regular state budget. In the new state budget awaiting Quinn’s signature, they would still be paid with personal property replacement tax money.