Two regional education leaders will play a role in shaping the critical discussion on ensuring the state’s new historic education funding reform model is also helping provide aid for at-risk youth in schools around the state.

Regional Superintendent Julie Wollerman of Regional Office of Education 3, covering Bond, Christian, Effingham, Fayette and Montgomery counties in central and southern Illinois, and Gregg Murphy, Regional Superintendent for ROE 32 covering Iroquois and Kankakee counties in northern Illinois, have been appointed to represent the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS) on the new state Evidence-Based Funding Professional Review Panel. The panel was created as part of the state’s historic education reform law approved last year to steer millions of new state dollars into schools and programs that are in most need of extra aid, and it features lawmakers, educators and education advocates.

The law calls for the 27-member panel to review the entire evidence-based funding model and report its findings and recommendations back to the governor, legislature and State Board of Education. More information on the funding review panel is available here: The group’s next meeting is set for Sept. 18.

Wollerman and Murphy are both part of the subcommittee on the Regional Safe Schools Program (RSSP), which provides critical alternative education through ROEs for disruptive students who have been suspended or expelled from their schools. This subcommittee will review how to include RSSP and other alternative education programs into the new funding model.

“I am very excited to represent my colleagues and their programs that serve at-risk youth across the state,” Wollerman said. “It’s imperative that we find a way to properly fund such programs in an equitable and adequate manner.”

“While our schools welcome the much-needed funding provided by the new formula, we cannot leave behind the at-risk students whose lives are changed from going through our alternative school programs,” Murphy said. “I am eager to work with Julie and ensure IARSS has a strong voice for providing the resources our programs need to help these students.”

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