The Regional Office of Education has just been impacted with some devastating news from the Illinois State Board of Education for Henderson, Knox, Mercer, and Warren counties. The ROE, which has been hiring and training new staff since March of this year to expand 0 to 3 programs, preschools, and new classrooms throughout the area, was informed on Monday of last week that their programs have been cut $1.3 million. Jodi Scott, Regional Superintendent, shares details:
“Our birth to 3 home visiting program is just a little over a million dollar operation, we lost all funding for that, and they zeroed that out. We serve a total of over 1,034 families, children and families around our 4 county region. That program has been zeroed out completely, so all of our current educators funded by that program, ultimately we stand to lose about 35 employees from the ROE,” Scott stated.
Typically, the ROE receives grants from the state to cover the area schools and allow them to expand through the end of August. With this budget cut, the deadline for the grants that have been received will be the beginning of August, leaving the 0 to 3 programs zeroed out.
“The investments into the programs have already been made and I can’t imagine not hanging onto the investment and moving forward with the families we are already serving. I can’t imagine taking those services away from those families,” shares Scott.
Scott and the ROE are working side by side with state legislature to get to the bottom of the budget cuts and the impact this will have on area 0 to 3 programs. The ROE has appealed the process and is now waiting for the state’s response to come within the next 60 days.
To contact Jodi and the ROE log onto www.roe33.net.
written by Kelsey Crain