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Heartland CC, Unit Five Praised For Efficiency Moves


The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are using Heartland Community College in Normal to kick off a statewide tour focusing on best practices in government efficiency.

Heartland has a dual credit program with area high schools to allow them to take courses for college credit while still in K-12 schools.

Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti said not every governmental body can be merged with another, but everyone should look for ways to improve.

"Consolidation is not for every single unit of government. However, when you talk about sharing of services, that's a conversation that has to happen. Because when you share services, savings have to happen," said Sanguinetti.

Kirsten Peterson, a recent Normal West High School graduate shaved a year off her college time by taking dual credit courses through Heartland that also counted in high school.

"In Advanced Placement Courses you have to pay a hundred dollars per test with no guarantee you will get college credit. It depends on your scores and the colleges you are looking at. But, thanks to 'College Now' as long as I got the grades that allowed me to pass and succeed in that course, I have the college credit," said Peterson.

Unit Five and Heartland have also begin a joint program to allow students to earn a full associate's degree in computer science by the time they graduate from high school.

Sanguinetti pointed out the state of Texas has a thousand fewer units of government than Illinois's seven thousand taxing bodies, even though Texas is larger in area and population than Illinois. She said there is a lot of improvement to be had.

Sanguinetti is publicizing a journal of 27 best practices identified from hundreds of submissions. They include teacher sharing arrangements for fine arts instruction among school districts, municipalities going together on law enforcement, fire, and EMS services, and library partnerships.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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