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January 18, 2002


Streamlining will reduce senior manager positions

The Illinois State Board of Education today announced a re-organization that will streamline the agency and improve management efficiency and the delivery of services to Illinois school districts, students and taxpayers.

The plan, which will be fully operational by the end of January, was announced at employee meetings in Springfield and Chicago by Ernest R. Wish, who became State Superintendent of Education January 1.

"I'm convinced this is the right plan at the right time for this agency," said Wish, former managing partner of the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "We've accomplished many good things here in the past few years, but we need to improve our performance. This plan will help us all do that."

Under the new plan, the number of senior managers in the agency will be reduced by more than one-third. The plan will combine small divisions, unite similar functions and consolidate fund management.

"This plan will help us concentrate efforts on our priorities -- and at the top of that list is our central focus on teaching and learning, with other agency functions supporting that work," Wish said.

The combining and re-organizing of divisions will result in the reduction of the managerial positions, but no bargaining unit positions are eliminated. Wish told employees that staffing levels remain an open issue.

"We're facing significant financial challenges, and our staffing level must be looked at in the overall context of the efficiency of our operations and the allocation of financial resources," he said.

Wish said the re-organized agency will be more understandable to the staff and public and able to bring about improvements in providing service, with a particular emphasis on value-added programs for school district management.

"The larger idea of this plan is to improve the way we serve school districts and students and the parents and taxpayers of Illinois," Wish told the employees. "Our main objectives going forward from here aren't organizational, they are to meet significant challenges you are all aware of -- such as dealing with the fiscal pressures we're under, improving the system of support for low-performing schools and addressing teacher quality and quantity issues."

Superintendent Wish’s Presentation to Staff about the Reorganization

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777