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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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For Immediate Release
October 21, 2004

New State Board of Education to streamline rules and regulations

Responds to Governor’s call to reduce bureaucracy

Springfield, Ill. –The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced plans today to reduce bureaucracy and streamline procedures for the state’s schools. At today’s State Board meeting, staff outlined plans to reduce unnecessary rules, forms and paperwork for schools. There are more than 2,800 pages of rules and regulations currently in place.

“Last month, the Governor put a new board and new leadership in place with a call to stop the bureaucracy and start helping schools,” said State Board Chairman Jesse Ruiz. “We’ve already started to do that. The staff has hit the ground running, responding to the Governor’s call to get rid of the red tape that the state’s schools have faced for years. The Board is anxious to make things better for schools, teachers and students in Illinois.”

Interim Superintendent Randy Dunn and State Board staff members have already begun discussions with educators around the state to get suggestions for improvement. In addition, they and have set up an email address,, for educators and the public to make suggestions to reduce the regulatory burden of existing ISBE rules.

“I’ve been talking with superintendents around the state about how we can make it easier for them to focus on teaching kids,” said Dunn. “They’ve already shared great ideas with us and we’ll keep asking them for new ways we can help them spend more time on education and less time on paperwork. And, then, with the Board’s support, we’ll put those ideas into action.”

In addition to educator and public input, the review process will include feedback from advisory groups and committees focused on specific areas like student transportation, health and life safety and bilingual education. Where needed, special work groups will be formed for particular issues. State Board staff has already begun to look at rules related to inactive programs, which represent 20 percent of existing rules.

The timeline calls for quick action, with results in the next three months. Chief Counsel Jonathan Furr and the State Board’s Legal Division will oversee the rules review process, which includes:

  • Feedback from educators, advisory groups, committees and the general public
  • State Board staff rules review with public responses and suggestions
  • Draft rules amendments, including public comments
  • External advisory committees and work group amendment review and comment
  • Revision based on external group feedback
  • State Superintendent review and approval
  • State Board formal rulemaking process

Last month, Governor Blagojevich signed the Education Reform and Accountability Act of 2004, shifting the focus of the Illinois State Board of Education from just regulating school districts to improving education of students in Illinois and being accountable to the Governor, legislators, school districts, parents and children. The reform also tasked the new board with reducing the 2,800 pages of rules and regulations imposed on local school districts.

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