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Illinois General Assembly Passes Legislation to Combat Teacher Shortage

State Rep. Maurice West: This legislation “will help grow the pipeline of talented new teachers”

 

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ROCKFORD, Ill. – Today, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB2390, sponsored by State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), in an effort to combat the teacher shortage in Illinois. Among other changes, SB 2390would allow candidates in alternative teacher preparation programs to pursue full licensure after a one-year residency. Alternative teacher candidates must still meet all the same standards, receive one year of intensive mentoring and support post-residency, and districts can decide if a candidate needs a second year of residency. 

 

“Alternative teacher preparation programs are an important path for more people to change careers and become teachers. This legislation makes it easier for these teachers to pursue full licensure while helping to expand these effective programs, especially downstate” said State Rep. Maurice West. “We must continue to address our state’s teacher shortage, and this legislation will help grow the pipeline of talented new teachers while still maintaining important safeguards for districts as they develop these educators. I want to thank the Illinois State Board of Education and Sen. Pacione-Zayas for their partnership in getting this legislation approved.”

 

The residency requirement for alternative teacher preparation programs was increased from one year to two years in 2012, which drastically decreased the number of programs, particularly downstate. Returning to a one-year program will make more of these in-demand programs possible. This bill does not affect student teaching, which has never been part of the alternative teacher preparation program.

 

SB2390, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Christina Pacione-Zayas, passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 114 to 0 and the Illinois Senate by a vote of 57 to 0. The legislation now goes to Gov. JB Pritzker for his signature before being enacted into law.

 

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