February 28, 2006
Posted online March 15, 2006
School district merger legislation
wins senate committee approval
State of Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's
proposal to make it easier for school districts to merge with
each other to improve operations won approval today in the Senate
Education Committee. Senate Bill 2795, sponsored by Sen. George
Shadid (D-Peoria), now moves to the full Senate for
"Our proposal will give school districts more
flexibility to consolidate," said Gov. Blagojevich.
"It gives local voters more control over how their school
districts are run, and gives them more choices for how to ensure
that their districts are run efficiently."
Senate Bill 2795 streamlines the reorganization process and
could help districts save administrative costs, provide increased
educational opportunities and create a more unified curriculum
between middle and high schools. The legislation requires that
any reorganization be approved by voters in each affected
district. The bill standardizes the multiple different
reorganization processes, and makes them more efficient. Most
dramatically, the legislation creates entirely new types of
school district reorganizations, to give greater local control.
Under current law, sometimes one school district can block a
merger that would affect multiple districts; this bill makes it
possible for those districts that want to merge to do so, while
allowing districts that want to remain independent to stay
independent. The current school code also prohibits some types of
districts from merging with each other, and SB 2795 removes many
of those restrictions to provide for even greater local
School district reorganization, which is strictly a matter of
local choice, can be used by local voters to improve the ability
of school districts to develop and implement quality programs for
students, offset student enrollment declines, and provide a more
cost-efficient and stable school district.
"This bill will help move school consolidation along
without the roadblocks of the "all or nothing'
approach. There is additional language that will protect school
districts who don't want to consolidate while allowing
those districts that do want to consolidate the go ahead to do
so. This is not written to force school districts to consolidate.
This is permissive legislation that allows school districts to do
so or not do so if they wish, without reprisal. This is a true
example of local control," said Sen. Shadid.