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For Immediate Release
November 18, 2004

New State Board of Education streamlines
agency operations
Cost savings to help schools

Springfield, Ill. -The Illinois State Board of Education has finalized the first phase of plans to streamline its agency operations. The plan will reduce agency costs by an estimated $2.6 million in FY 2005 and $3.8 million in FY 2006. Interim State Superintendent Randy Dunn presented the plan to the nine-member State Board of Education at its monthly meeting today. The plan refocuses the agency on its core mission of helping schools, teachers and students.

"The Governor put our team in place to make the best decisions for schools and for kids," said Dunn. "To do that, we knew we had to find ways to streamline the agency and get more money going directly to schools. It's the right thing to do."

The cost savings began with the new leadership's appointment. The new team's executive management salaries are lower than the previous team, projected to save at least $100,000 annually. Dunn immediately looked for other ways to reduce management costs. He found a way to significantly reduce the agency's lease costs by downsizing and relocating executive offices, which include a private full bathroom in the Superintendent's suite, from the fourth floor to available space on other floors. Potential lease savings could exceed $300,000 annually. In addition, the first phase calls for the elimination of one position each in the Governmental Relations Division and the General Counsel's Office.

The plan also identified areas where the agency was incurring costs for unwarranted services. In some instances, good use of technology has helped reduce costs. For example, electronic document transmission and Internet access to agency publications has lowered high volume printing demands by 75 percent, eliminating the need for a full-service printing operation.

"We are no longer an island unto ourselves. At the end of the day, having an in-house print shop and full-service television studio doesn't help us serve schools," said Dunn. "They're luxuries we can no longer justify. Instead, we need to direct as much money as we can to schools."

After examining all agency operations, the Superintendent identified a number of ways to reduce operational costs, without affecting core services to schools. The plan's operational cuts include:

  • reducing General Revenue Fund (GRF) contractual services expenditures by 13 percent;
  • closing agency print shop by April 2005;
  • closing video production studio or consolidating operations with another agency by July 2005;
  • closing agency warehouse facility, relocating operations to main agency building; and
  • reducing agency vehicle fleet from eight vehicles to four.

The FY 2005 $2.6 million savings is available immediately to the Governor and the General Assembly for reallocation. Realizing the management salary savings will require General Assembly approval to transfer funds. The State Board will continue to find ways to reduce agency costs, making more funds available to local school districts.

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