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      Illinois communities back four-county ROE merger

      Two Illinois Regional Offices of Education covering four counties will merge in the upcoming year.

      County board members in Hancock, McDonough, Schuyler and Fulton counties have approved plans to consolidate into one regional office by 2015.

      John Meixner, Regional Superintendent of Schools for ROE #26 covering Hancock and McDonough counties, and Dave Demler, Regional Superintendent for ROE #22 covering Schuyler and Fulton counties, have worked for a number of months on a merger plan.

      State lawmakers and Gov. Quinn last year required the realignment of ROE TMs in Illinois to move from 44 to 35 to save money. Quinn also set a new population threshold of at least 61,000 people for each region. Both ROE #26 and ROE #22 fell below that population threshold.The two region offices have already been sharing services and programs. The county boards for their four counties have approved resolutions signifying their support for the ROE #26 and #22 merger, as required under the law (Senate Bill 2706/Public Act 97-0703) that mandated the regional realignment. According to the new law, the merger would take place at the beginning of the next term in 2015.

      Administrative offices will remain in both Macomb and Lewistown.