The Regional Office of Education is the intermediate agency between the Illinois State Board of Education and the local school districts in the region. The Regional Superintendent is the chief school officer for the region, and is required by law to “act as the official advisor and assistant of the school officers and teachers in his county. In the performance of this duty he shall carry out the advice of the State Superintendent of Education.” (The School Code of Illinois, Section 3-14.7).
The Regional Superintendent is the direct successor to the Commissioner of School Lands, an office that had nothing to do with the supervision of schools. The Sixth General Assembly, by an act on January 22, 1829, made it the duty of the body now known as the County Board to appoint a competent and responsible person of the county to act as commissioner and agent for the county in the sale of public lands.
In 1841, the Legislature changed the title from Commissioner of School Lands to County Commissioner and Ex-Officio County Superintendent of Schools. The Legislature in 1865 called for the election of the County Superintendent of Schools. At that time, the Secretary of State of Illinois acted as the State Superintendent of Schools.
Until April 1, 1973, there was a county superintendent in each of Illinois’ 102 Counties. By consolidation of smaller counties into regions in 1973, the number was reduced to 78. In 1977, more consolidation occurred, and the number of regions was reduced to 57 (with each region having a population of at least 33,000). As a result of Public Act 88-89, the number was further reduced to 45 on August 7, 1995, (with each region having a population of at least 43,000). Based on the 2000 census, the population of the Regional Office of Education #11 (Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, and Shelby Counties) was 158,266.
In 2013, the Illinois General Assembly directed the Illinois State Board of Education to reduce the number of statewide ROE offices from 44 to 35. Because of the size of our region, in terms of land area and population, ROE #11 was unaffected by this legislation. Based on the 2010 census, ROE #11 had a population of 157,021. The total land area of ROE #11 is 3,490.23 square miles.
1829 – The Sixth General Assembly mandated appointment of a Commissioner of School Lands.
1841 – Title changed to County Commissioner & Ex-Officio County Superintendent of Schools.
1865 – Legislature called for the election of the County Superintendent of Schools
1973 – Legislation required consolidation of smaller counties resulting in 78 regions.
(Clark, Coles, Cumberland & Moultrie-effective August 1975)
1975 – Title of Chief Administrative Officer of an education service region changed to Regional Superintendent of Schools.
1977 – Legislation required further consolidation resulting in 57 regions.
(Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Edgar, Moultrie & Shelby-effective August 1979)
1993 – Education Service Region Office renamed Regional Office of Education.
1995 – Legislation required further consolidation resulting in 45 regions, each with a population of at least 43,000.
(Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie & Shelby-effective August 1995)
2015 – Legislation required further consolidation resulting in 35 regions, each with a population of at least 60,000.