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Consolidation of regional school offices hits snag

SPRINGFIELD -- The state has ordered a consolidation of regional offices of education, but the process is taking longer than expected.
SPRINGFIELD -- The state has ordered a consolidation of regional offices of education, but the process is taking longer than expected. There are currently 44 offices, a number which must be cut to 35 by the end of next month. 

County boards were trying to manage the process on their own, negotiating mergers and quelling the number of offices, but their negotiations could only get the number down to 38. Now the State Board of Education will have to make the final decision.  

Regional offices of education help train school bus drivers, administer G.E.D. tests, and help inspect school buildings among other things. Regional superintendents are elected officials and all are up for re-election in 2014. The candidates were nervous about the petitioning process, as the final map hasn't been decided.
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