Gov. Pat Quinn Monday signed a bill into law that reduces the number of regional offices of education across the state. The new law reduces the offices from 44 to 35. The governor says the offices will be reduced through consolidation, which is required to be completed by July 1, 2015. Offices can voluntarily consolidate or be directed to consolidate by the State Board of Education.
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Quinn contends the law will ensure money is invested in the classroom instead of bureaucracy. “We want to put as much of our financial resources of the people of Illinois into the classroom so that the teachers and the students have the bulk of the resources,” Quinn said. Regional superintendents have been a target when it comes to spending cuts. Last year Quinn proposed eliminating the offices, but a compromise was reached to shift their funding from state to local money. Regional superintendents have many duties, including certifying teachers and offering GED classes.
Quinn also signed into law a measure that requires the State Board of Education to create and coordinate a mathematics curriculum model to ensure students graduate high school at a math level suitable for entry into college. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.