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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Talks begin soon on cutting Illinois' regional offices of education

Illinois' association of regional school superintendents will meet next month. Part of the discussion will include how to move forward on eliminating nine regional offices of education.

In a cost-cutting move, the state is closing the offices as part of a new law recently signed by the governor. Locations that serve fewer than 61, 000 residents will be targeted for consolidation with larger offices. 

Northern Illinois office part of discussion

The regional superintendent for Whiteside County says up to four other locations could absorb his office's duties.  Whiteside County falls just below the population requirement to keep its doors open.

These offices could be asked to expand:

 - Lee/Ogle

 - Carroll/Jo Daviess/Stephenson

 - Rock Island

 - Bureau/Henry/Stark

But Whiteside Superintendent Bob Sondgeroth says he doesn't want to speculate yet which office might be chosen to consolidate with his location.

The association has until June of next year to submit a plan.  If it doesn't have a proposal by then, the state would decide.  Local county boards will also have a say in the matter.  The changes won't take effect until after the 2014 elections.  That's when the current terms for regional superintendents are due to expire.