From AP - News Headlines -

Lt. Gov. Simon Wants to Make Ill. Districts More Efficient

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon wants schools to know she isn't gunning for them.

Simon was recently appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to lead a commission tasked with finding ways to cut school district administration costs and redirect funding back to students.

The commission begins its work with an eye on the high number of districts in the state. Officials say Illinois has about 870 districts. That's the third-highest number in the country behind California and Texas.

Quinn raised some hackles when he talked about school consolidation in this year's budget address. But Simon insists her effort isn't about cutting schools or reducing districts just for numbers' sake.

She says her goals for the Classrooms First Commission are to make districts more efficient and schools better equipped to educate students.