County Board approves changes to regional education office


The Franklin-Williamson Regional Office of Education may be getting a name change.

The Franklin County Board agreed Tuesday to a joint resolution sought by the Franklin-Williamson Regional Office of Education to incorporate Johnson County into its office. Johnson County’s Board had already passed the joint resolution last week, and Williamson County Board members voted in favor of it on Thursday morning.

The office expansion stems from a request by Franklin-Williamson Regional Superintendent Matt Donkin, and is prompted by state efforts to reduce the number of regional offices statewide. A state law passed last spring requires that the number of regional offices of education be reduced from 44 to 35 by July 1, 2015, the date the next term of office for the state’s elected regional superintendents begins.

Offices that serve populations of less than 61,000 people have until June 30 to consolidate with larger offices. The Franklin-Williamson office serves a larger population and does not have to consolidate. But Johnson County, which is part of ROE 2, a 5-county office that also serves Alexander, Massac, Pope and Union counties, is affected. If the offices do not consolidate by June 30, the state board of education will step in and mandate the new districts.

Regional offices of education serve as liaisons between the Illinois Board of Education and local school districts. They oversee programs including teacher certification, GED testing, bus driver training and truancy prevention.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News