SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – The ideas of saving state money by combining school districts and eliminating the regional offices of education seem to be on their way to the recycle bin, maybe in the section marked “Easier Said than Done.”
Illinois State Board of Education superintendent Chris Koch said it’s unlikely that mandated school district consolidation will be coming out of the legislature this year, despite the governor’s suggestion in the February budget message that he wants to reduce the number of local school districts in Illinois.
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Gov Pat Quinn has said he wants to cut the number of school districts from 868 to about 300. There were more than 1,000 districts in Illinois 25 years ago.
During a committee hearing Thursday, State Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) said consolidation is an idea few people want, particularly when it appears driven by an arbitrary number.
Eddy and his constituents need not worry, said House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), who told reporters he has no interest in pursuing the idea.