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updated: 5/16/2013 7:55 AM

Voluntary school merger bill goes to Quinn

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Legislation that would help Illinois public school districts merge to save money is headed for Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.

The measure comes out of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon's Classrooms First Commission, which studied ways for schools to save money by reducing duplicative practices and combining educational offerings.

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The Senate approved it Tuesday 54-0. The plan allows school districts whose boundaries don't touch to consolidate, allows faster reorganization for small school districts, and would link the dates high school districts consolidate to the availability of construction funding.

Simon says the measure "will put our students -- not bureaucracy -- first."

The Classrooms First Commission was made up of experts and people interested in education from pre-kindergarten through post-graduate schooling. It included teachers, administrators, parents and legislators.

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