Feeling Good about Governor’s Slash and Burn in Illinois Public Education Bureaucracy

Governor Quinn cut funding for the Regional Offices of Education in the beginning of July. The ROEs' lobbying group is pushing hard to get their funding back, but little sympathy can be extended with this ridiculous blurb in their efforts to Support Your Regional Superintendent of Schools.  

One page states: "Without Your Regional Superintendent…Who will provide wise counsel to parents who elect to home school their children?"

Seriously?  In February, Regional Offices of Education lobbyist Mike McCreery testified homeschoolers should be separated out from their other private school partners and annually register with the public school system.  After all, that could be a "revenue raiser", despite the complete lack of usefulness regarding education quality.  Our own Illinois Homeschool PAC board member, Fran Eaton hit the nail on the head in comments on the Illinois Homeschool PAC's FaceBook page: "It's hilarious they would put on a website the very reasons why Governor Quinn's cuts are justified, and not see it for themselves."

The exchange below lays out some of the "wise counsel" during the Senate Education Committee and questioning from Senator Luechtefeld. Mr. Reynold's attitude is promoted by too many Regional Offices of Education staff.  

Senator Luechtefeld: “And then you would go to their home and check on them since they’re registered?”

Truancy Officer:  ”I would go to the home and offer my help.”

Senator Luechtefeld: “But you don’t know they need help. You said you’ve not seen them and no one’s reported them.”

Truancy Officer:  ”But if they register, then I have, I think I have the obligation to see if I can help because…”

Senator Luechtefeld: “So are you going to go into any…person who registers, will you be going then into the home and go by and say: Can I help?’”

Truancy Officer: “Yes, sir.”

Senator Luechtefeld: “Of even the people who are doing the really good job? Because you don’t know ahead of time which one…”

Truancy Officer: “That’s exactly right. And I’ll know…very quickly as I knock on the door; the ones that are doing a great job won’t let me go. They’ll want me to come in. The ones that say: We don’t want you around,’ well then I need to take other actions.”

Senator Luechtefeld: “I guess I don’t see…how this changes things other than the fact that they’re registered.”

Truancy Officer: "It gives me the names and the opportunity.”

The idea that an open door to a law abiding family's home is an "opportunity" could also be considered a tyrant's dream. 

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson

The Daily Republican reports this from the Associated Press:

Quinn eliminated all the money the state provides for regional offices of education around the state. The cut of about $11.3 million does not eliminate the offices, but it would force local taxpayers to come up with the money or close the offices.

Here's hoping the local taxpayers support streamlining the Illinois public education system.  If the Regional Offices of Education are chasing down private school students – who pay for their own education – these employees obviously had too much time on their hands.


Feeling Good about Governor’s Slash and Burn in Illinois Public Education Bureaucracy — 6 Comments

  1. It is warped, isn't It?  I love budget cuts and I despise bureaucracy. I hope Illinois and your home state of CA can figure out what budget cuts mean, Janine.  

  2. I hope for more and larger state budget cuts.  When it becomes apparent that a lot of tax dollars are not used for "education" but to pay "salaries" to people who do not set foot in a classroom then there will be more budget cuts.  It will snowball and I will be very pleased.

  3. I agree, Sarah.  Too much of the IL Education budget has little to do with children's education.  Many of those results are apparent in the dropout and graduation rate.  

  4. As a retired school supperintendent and a supporter of Senator Luechtefeld, I feel compelled to comment in defense of Mr. Reynolds. I have known Mr. Reynolds since he was my Industrial Arts teacher in 1964. Before I retired I had worked as the Assistant Director at Beck Area Career Center where I also served as the Principal of the Optional Education Program. I relied on Mr. Reynolds valued services as the Truant Office to help students return/remain in school. There were many time he was able to provide support for the family/student in a very positive way to keep kids in school. This service seems to be unjustly attacked by the Senator in the above dialog resulting in a very distorted representation of the facts. I find this surprising as Senator Luechtefeld is also a retired school superintendent who was certainly aware of the positive impact truant officers had on helping students stay in school.

    • Thanks for your comments and explaining your perspective, Danny. I’m glad Mr Reynolds was so useful in the public school truancy problems.
      I was at the hearing and heard the testimony. I didn’t ever think Senator Luechtefeld was attacking Mr. Reynolds, only asking questions, which received answers.
      The hearing was concerning homeschoolers specifically, but the questioning concerned non-public school oversight by a public school truancy officer. If the homeschoolers were required to register with the public school (ISBE), Mr. Reynolds felt he could visit every single homeschooler’s home, even when parents didn’t want or most importantly, need his help. I can’t imagine public school families would want a truant officer’s help and a visit into their home just because they are in the public school. So I don’t think homeschoolers’ angst about this issue is distorted.
      Fortunately, that issue was put to rest for now. Homeschoolers saved the state of Illinois even more money by being successfully accountable to their children and their education.

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