House bill would address teacher shortages in Illinois
A bill that would address the shortage of teachers in Illinois could soon be up for debate.
HB 5627 would make it easier for educators coming from other states to teach in Illinois and make it less cumbersome for substitute teachers to satisfy state requirements, according to a press release on the website of Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), who is a chief co-sponsor of the measure. It is assigned to the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight committee.
“Under this legislation the amount of red tape has been cut significantly,” Bourne said in the release. “Our rural school districts have been hit hard and are suffering. HB 5627 will help to resolve this teacher shortage.”
The Illinois State Board of Education reports that there are 2,013 unfilled positions in the state, according to the release. The total includes teachers, administrative staff and school support staff.
HB 5627 would address that issue by, among other things, making an individual with a professional educator license eligible to teach as a substitute without a substitute teaching license and enabling an individual with a lapsed professional educator license to substitute teach. It also stipulates that any individual who has completed 60 credit hours of coursework would be eligible to receive a substitute teaching license, the release said.
The bill would also pave the way for an alternative educator licensure program to be one-year long instead of the two years currently required, and designates that professional development could be completed at any time after issuance of the license.