July 2015 is the target date for Illinois to close some regional offices of education. In the meantime, discussions are being held on which offices should absorb new territory.
Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature voted to trim the number of regional superintendents from 44 to 35. For an office to avoid closure, it needs to serve a population base of more than 61-thousand residents.
One office that doesn’t meet that threshold is Whiteside County. The regional superintendent there says they hope to merge with the office that serves Ogle and Lee Counties. But Bob Sondgeroth says they won’t lay the groundwork until January, when new county boards are seated. All consolidation plans need approval at the local level.
Elsewhere in northern Illinois, the LaSalle County office is exploring the idea of taking on some of the areas served by another office targeted for closure.
Chris Dvorak is the regional superintendent for LaSalle County. He says they could possibly take on Putnan and Marshall Counties.
Dvorak says the big question is whether his office would still be able to maintain the same level of service for not only LaSalle County residents, but also the people currently relying on the office that will close.