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      Possible merger for Regional Office of Education

      Debbie Niederhauser is the regional superintendent for Adams and Pike Counties.

      Talks continue at the local level on how to consolidate Illinois 44 Regional Offices of Education .

      A law passed last year will require the state to reduce that number to 35 by the year 2015 in hopes of cutting the state's budget.

      Debbie Niederhauser is the regional superintendent for Adams and Pike Counties .

      She said she has spoken to the regional superintendent in Jacksonville about a potential merger. That would incorporate Cass, Brown, Morgan and Scott Counties.

      But this is only one possibility of many, she says. It may turn out that the Quincy area does not have to merge.

      Neiderhauser notified the Adams County Board a few weeks ago that talks were taking place.

      The state board of elections is working on a map right now that would detail 35 new boundaries instead of the 44.

      "You want to merge with a regional office that's your neighbor," she said. "Everybody's trying to figure out the best fit. That makes the best difference, because we work with them all the time."

      Regional offices that cover populations of less than 61,000 people will be the first to merge.

      Niederhauser said the office should have a clearer outlook in the spring.